Success Story: WNC AG Options Awards Grants to Farmers

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Farm diversification remains a key element in sustaining family farms in rural WNC. Madison County, NC that once boasted over 2000 family farms supported by Burley tobacco, now has only 2 tobacco farms in operation. As a result, many farmers have transitioned into other commodities while many others are still searching for the appropriate commodity mix that best fits their operation. Similar statistics exist across the entire Burley tobacco-growing section of WNC.

N.C. Cooperative Extension led by Extension agents in the West District partnered with WNC Communities to administer an annual mini-grant program called WNC Ag. Options. This program provides financial and educational resources to farmers trying alternative farming enterprises. The NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is the sole funder of this program.

A stringent application process is completed by every farm interested in the program. A team of 20 review members that are professionals in the agricultural arena review the applications and assign a numerical score. This score determines who is awarded the mini-grants. In February 2018, the WNC Agricultural Options program awarded 43 farm businesses grants totaling $229,000 to assist in farm diversification and expansion. Nine of the farm businesses received $3,000, one received $4000 and 33 received $6,000. Projects increase the economic sustainability of farm businesses as well as provide demonstration to other transitioning farmers.