In support of local agriculture, Madison County farmers received a boost last week to assist in diversification, marketing and distribution efforts. With the help of $33,000 in grants from the WNC Agricultural Options program, seven local farmers will receive funding for new agricultural ventures. “The sustainability of the agricultural industry in Western North Carolina is dependent upon the innovation of farmers and their willingness to try new things,” said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. “This region is a leader in agriculture innovation.” —The News-Record & Sentinel, Feb. 16, 2011. Read more.