• By Mary Jac Brennan
  • Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Grant Opportunity for Family Farms in Forsyth County

NC AgVentures provides grants to NC farmers for new and innovative agricultural project ideas that will increase their farm profits. This grant program was designed to strengthen farms that were negatively impacted by the downturn of the tobacco economy. NC AgVentures Grants are available in the following counties: Martin, Wilson, Pitt, Edgecombe, Nash, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Rockingham, Yadkin, Guilford, Wayne, Lenoir, Sampson, Johnston, Duplin, Harnett and Greene. (The grant program is funded by NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, to learn more about the (NCTTFC) please visit: http://tobaccotrustfund.org/) Plan to attend the informational meeting on December 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Forsyth Cooperative Extension Office, 1450 Fairchild Rd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

Grant Awards

Who is eligible?

North Carolina farmers who are agriculturally dependent and who have viable ideas for innovative agricultural projects to increase farm profits are eligible. NC Cooperative Extension Agents and their immediate families are not eligible.

Priority will be given to applicants who:

  • Earn at least 50% of their gross personal income from their farm operation.
  • Present new and innovative agricultural project ideas that are viable and will increase farm profits.
  • Are current or former tobacco growers, former quota holders, tobacco workers or close family descendants.

Grant proposal criteria (It’s not necessary for applicants to meet all criteria to receive a grant.)

  • Does the project benefit current or past tobacco growers?
  • Will the project increase farm income?
  • Will the project increase or maintain employment opportunities?
  • Has the proposal been adequately researched?
  • Is the budget realistic?
  • Does the applicant have the skills to complete the project or have they identified technical assistance to help them implement a successful project?
  • Present a new direction or innovative opportunity to diversify, expand or implement new entrepreneurial plans for their farm operations?
  • Will the project become self-supporting or enhance your ability to keep farming?

Grant Winner Responsibilities:

  • Provide a minimum of 15% or more of the total grant award
  • Attend a grant winner’s orientation meeting in February 2017.
  • Submit an Interim and a Final Report, plus copies of receipts for project expenditures
  • Keep accurate production and financial records on the project and supply a copy of those records at the completion of the project
  • Consult with an Extension agent about the grant project.
  • Farm visits during the grant year are required
  • Complete final income and expense reports of project results, plus a survey that provides feedback about the program and results of their project
  • Allow Extension to include the recipients’ projects in public relations, outreach, demonstration and education in 2016 or future years
  • Complete the project by December 15, 2016
  • Plan a public education event or project demonstration to share what was learned with other farmers
  • Provide a summary of the project one year after completion
  • Recipients will recognize NC AgVentures and the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission as the funders/supporters of the project in all materials/marketing/advertising used to promote the project (NC AgVentures will provide appropriate logos and usage guide).

How are the applications reviewed?

The NC AgVentures review panel will include NCSU employees and other experts who are familiar with agriculture, agribusiness, entrepreneurship and the local community. Applications will be ranked according to a numerical scoring system that evaluates the strength of the project to meet the grant criteria. Proposals will be read and scored by three reviewers.

Application Instructions

Applicants will consult with a NC Cooperative Extension agent about their project proposal. Please contact your Agent by Dec. 14, 2016 to arrange an appointment. (Applicants that do not follow this procedure may be ineligible.)

Applicants should provide two reference letters of support with the application.

Application materials are available online at: www.ncagventures.org

Please contact your Extension agent if you have problems with the application or do not have access to a computer.

Deadline to submit the final application to your Extension Agent:

5:00 PM January 5, 2017.

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