Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern North Carolina, Cleveland County has long been cultivated. Before the Civil War, self-reliant farms grew and raised a diverse array of vegetables, field crops, and livestock. These small farms relied on family labor, draft animals, waterwheels, and ingenuity. Eventually, the county became a leader in production of cotton and dairy products; tractors, combines, and hay balers became farm mainstays. Cleveland County Agriculture showcases the triumphs and trials of farmers--farmers who endured the Great Depression, the arrival of the boll weevil, and the everyday challenges of farm life.