Grants for Diversifying Farms: WNC AgOptions Intent to Apply Deadline Oct. 13; Application Deadline Nov. 17

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Grants for diversifying farms: WNC AgOptions Intent to apply deadline Oct. 13; Application deadline Nov. 17.
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WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $229,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2018. This amount is the most the WNC AgOptions has awarded since 2011. The application deadline is Nov. 17.

WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers’ risk of trying new ventures and expanding their farms with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. “The WNC AgOptions program is an excellent example of grant funds providing direct support to those who need it most,” said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. “Our farmers are arguably the most important people in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Commission’s interest in supporting western North Carolina agriculture.”

Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension agents by Oct. 13 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. Applications are available at or at local Cooperative Extension centers. Extension agents remain a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects.

Applicants are encouraged to attend information sessions, which will be held throughout the region through September. Check the WNC AgOptions website for dates and locations of other upcoming sessions  or call Project Coordinator Jennifer Ferre at (828) 252-4783. Grants of $3000 and $6000 are available to farmers located within a 22-county area of Western North Carolina in 2018. WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options:; N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers:; N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission:; WNC Communities: