Grants available for WNC farmers

With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions will give $153,000 to farmers in the western part of the state next year.

Farmers looking to expand and diversify their operations have until Dec. 13 to submit an application for a $3,000 or $6,000 grant. In its 10th year, the grant program was created to help tobacco farmers branch out into other sectors of agriculture.

WNC AgOptions provides grants to a 22-county region of Western North Carolina. Since 2004, more than 350 grants, amounting to about $1.6 million, have been awarded. The grants have been used to buy greenhouses, refrigeration units and other equipment.

WNC AgOptions grants are awarded by WNC Communities, a nonprofit organization. Applications for next year’s grant cycle are available online and at local cooperative extension centers. Applicants should contact their local extension agents by Nov. 1 for assistance and support.

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