Grant will fund ag center for Swain
The N.C Tobacco Trust Fund has awarded $1.5 million in grants this year, and one of the 15 applications granted came from the Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The grant will provide $130,000 to plan and build a multipurpose building for agricultural and equestrian events and workshops. The building aims to benefit local farmers and the surrounding agricultural community.
Overall, the grants placed a high priority on projects to stimulate the agricultural economy and that help farmers execute innovative ideas. Projects served by the grant assist with innovative on-farm projects, increase leadership skills and offer operational strategies that will help farmers increase farm income.
The N.C. General Assembly created the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to lessen the financial impact to farmers and tobacco-related businesses caused by the sharp decline of tobacco in the agricultural economy. The commission’s original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Its current funding comes from a set appropriation of funds.