WNC AgOptions Awards 2011 Farm Diversification Projects
Grants support diverse agricultural ventures, build local agriculture system
The WNC Agricultural Options program recently awarded six community groups and 47 farmers grants totaling $326,000 to assist them in farm diversification and joint marketing and distribution efforts.
This year’s community grant recipients are creating cohesion, infrastructure and marketing for local products. Individual farm businesses are improving such diverse operations as a 75-acre kale, turnips and collards farm in Cherokee County, a new dairy in Madison County, a micro-greens venture in Watauga County, and a canned bamboo shoots business in McDowell County.
Community groups received varying amounts totaling $92,000. Grantees are: Avery County Farmers Tailgate Marketing Association, Jackson County Christmas Tree Association, Mountain Cattle Alliance, Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center, Watauga County Farmers Market and Southern Appalachian Family Farms.
Three individual farm businesses received $9,000 grants, 25 received $6,000 and 19 received $3,000. Projects increase the economic sustainability of farm businesses as well as provide demonstration to other transitioning farmers.
2011 WNC AgOptions Grantees
Avery County Farmers Tailgate Marketing Association
Grant Award: $5,000 - Community Advertising and Educational Campaign
Topics: Educational Program | Marketing |
Cassandra Lewis: Hay Pritty Alpines - Crow Valley Farm
Grant Award: $3,000 - Dairy Goat Parlor
Topics: Dairy | Equipment & Supplies | Goats |
Chuck & Jeannie Blethen: Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard
Grant Award: $6,000 - Greenhouse & Vineyard Expansion
Topics: Grapes | Greenhouse | Vineyard |
Stephen Alan Thompson: Nottely River Valley Vineyards
Grant Award: $6,000 - Tasting Room and Pavilion
Topics: Agritourism | Buildings | Educational Program | Equipment & Supplies | Solar | Vineyard |
Steve and Terry King: King Harvest Farm
Grant Award: $3,000 - Raspberry and Vegetable Expansion
Topics: Berries | Equipment & Supplies | Expansion | Irrigation | Marketing | Vegetables |
Thomas Charles & Margaret McGinnis: Fork Mountain Farm
Grant Award: $3,000 - Winter Squash Curing Shed with Temperature Control
Topics: Buildings | Equipment & Supplies | Vegetables |
Thomas E. Shepherd, Jr.: Headwaters of Poverty Farm
Grant Award: $6,000 - Specialty Poultry
Topics: Chickens | Equipment & Supplies | Processing & Production |
Tim & Annie Burrell: Rabbit Creek Bee Company, LLC
Grant Award: $6,000 - Nuc Production for Natural Beekeeping
Topics: Beekeeping | Diversification |
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