WNC AgOptions Announces Grants for Diversifying Farms in 2021
WNC AgOptions intent to apply deadline October 23, 2020
Application deadline November 20, 2020
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — 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 $216,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2021. The application deadline is Nov. 20.
WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers’ risk of trying new ventures and expanding their farms with $3,000 and $6,000 grants.
Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension agents by October 23 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. Applications are available at WNC AgOptions or at local N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers. Extension agents serve as a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects.
Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has distributed more than $3 million to farmers in western North Carolina who are diversifying their operations. Returns on initial investments are often immediate, as new income typically matches the size of the grants in the first year of the projects. Income continues to increase year after year, often doubling by the third year of the projects.
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.
Applicants are encouraged to participate in information sessions, which will be held via the Zoom online video conferencing platform. Details on these meetings can be found on the WNC AgOptions website.