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In January 2012 the WNC Agricultural Options program awarded three community groups and 23 farmers grants totaling $150,000 to assist them in farm diversification and joint marketing and distribution efforts.

Three of the farm businesses received $3,000 grants and 19 received $6,000. Community groups each received $8,000. Projects increase the economic sustainability of farm businesses as well as provide demonstration to other transitioning farmers.

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County; Award; Farm/Group:
Recipient Name; Project Name


Cherokee; Grant Award: $3,000; Fir Heaven’s Sake Tree Farm:
Rickey and Judi Postell; Gift Shop and Sleigh Ride Scenery — GO >>


Buncombe; Grant Award: $6,000; Wildwood Herbal:
Alan and Seth Salmon; Aquaponics Production — GO >>

Haywood; Grant Award: $6,000; Sunburst Trout Farms:
Sally Eason; Water Quality Improvements for Increased Production of Rainbow Trout — GO >>

Beef and Poultry

Polk; Grant Award: $6,000; Smith’s Sweet Grass Farm:
Randy and Megan Smith; Grass-Fed Beef- Cattle Handling Equipment — GO >>

Avery; Grant Award: $6,000; BRG Angus:
Bobby Gragg; Enhanced Cattle Production — GO >>

Cherokee Reservation; Grant Award: $6,000; Lambert Farms:
Danny and Krista Lambert; Managed Instensive Cattle Grazing and Poultry Processing — GO >>

Buncombe; Grant Award: $6,000; Hominy Valley Farms – Land and Cattle:
Frank and Jeanette Wilson; Home Delivery or Farm Pick Up — GO >>


Swain; Grant Award: $6,000; Axios Farms:
Kevin and Shelley King; Axios Apiary — GO >>


Macon; Grant Award: $6,000; Nantahala Farms and Nursery:
Rachelle Clark; Hydroponic Plant Production and Greenhouse Growing — GO >>


Jackson and surrounding; $8,000; Jackson County Farmer’s Market:
Amy Grimes; The Community Kitchen — GO >>

Region-wide; $8,000; Independent Small Animal Meat Producers Association:
Rick Harty; Foothills Pilot Plant Working Capital — GO >>

Region-wide; $8,000; Appalachian Botanical Alliance:
Amy Hamilton; Cooperative Production, Research and Marketing of Traditional Chinese Herbs — GO >>

Dairy (Cow)

McDowell; Grant Award: $6,000; English Dairy Farm:
Susan and Terry English; English Farmstead Cheese — GO >>


Clay; Grant Award: $6,000; High Mountain Meadows Farm:
Donna Gains; Certified Creamery/Kitchen — GO >>

Watauga; Grant Award: $6,000; GOat GREEN farm:
Ryan Norris; Goat Leasing and Meat — GO >>

Orchard (Fruit and Nuts)

Graham; Grant Award: $3,000; Apple Valley Orchard:
James Phillips and Danny Edwards; Orchard Establishment — GO >>

Buncombe; Grant Award: $6,000; Full Sun Farms;
Alex Brown and Vanessa Campbell; Mixed Nut Orchard — GO >>


Transylvania; Grant Award: $6,000; Cherryfield Farm:
William and Glenda Newell; Sheep Expansion Project — GO >>

Small Animals

Madison; Grant Award: $6,000; Mackey Farms:
Dewain Mackey; Meat Processing and Storage Facility — GO >>


Jackson; Grant Award: $6,000; Ty-Lyn Plantation:
Joni and John Wavra; Truffle Project — GO >>


Henderson; Grant Award: $6,000; Kay Farm:
William Hunt; Romaine Lettuce Expansion — GO >>

Yancey; Grant Award: $6,000; Mt. Mitchell Produce:
Traci McMahan; Portable Cooling Unit — GO >>

McDowell; Grant Award: $6,000; Ellis Farms:
Eric Ellis; Farms, Food and Community — GO >>

Mitchell; Grant Award: $3,000; David Hughes Farm:
David Hughes; Potato Production — GO >>

Madison; Grant Award: $3,000; Rockbar Farms:
Harold Hunter; Rockbar Sweet Onion Project — GO >>


McDowell; Grant Award: $6,000; DeMariano Vineyard:
Mario and Michael DeLuca; Wine Production — GO >>