In February 2020 the WNC Agricultural Options program awarded 40 farm businesses a total of $216,000 in grants to assist in farm diversification and expansion.

Eight of the farm businesses received $3,000 and 32 received $6,000. The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is the exclusive financial supporter of WNC AgOptions, which aims to build sustainable farming communities in the mountain region by providing resources directly to farmers.

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County — Award; Project Name; Farm


Graham — Grant Award: $6,000; Farm Store; Jeff C. Phillips, Pine Row Farm


Cherokee — Grant Award: $6,000; Russian Honey Bee Expansion Project; Mitch and Darlene Myers, D & M Apiaries

Jackson — Grant Award: $3,000; Updates for Increased Production; David Massengill, D & R Bee Farm

Swain — Grant Award: $6,000; Apiary Expansion; Jordan Michael Smith, Two Girls Honey Company

Yancey — Grant Award: $6,000; The Local Honey Bee Project; Michelle Mejia, Moral Bees

Cattle & Beef

Avery — Grant Award: $6,000; The Hereford Project; Plow Boys Crop Production

Cherokee — Grant Award: $6,000; Commodity Barn; Ricky Stiles, Appalachian Foothills Farm, LLC

Watauga — Grant Award: $6,000; Cattle Business; Roy Bledsoe, Longview Farm

Watauga — Grant Award: $3,000; Cattle Handling Facilities Enhancements; William Dennis Braswell, Braswell Farms

Equipment & Supplies

Buncombe — Grant Award: $6,000; Caterpillar Tunnels; Paul & Anna Littman, Ivy Creek Family Farm

Buncombe — Grant Award: $6,000; Dump Trailer for Spent Brewer’s Grain; Scott Brown, Ridgetop Farm

EBCI — Grant Award: $6,000; Soil Spader for Sustainable Management and Soil Health; John Dugan and David Anderson, Dugan Farms

Jackson — Grant Award: $3,000; Greenhouse Light Extension; Brent and Beth Hall, Shake Rag Plant Ranch

Madison — Grant Award: $6,000; Expanding Production of Most Profitable Crops; Danielle Keeter & Mark McDonagh, Mighty Gnome Market Garden

McDowell — Grant Award: $6,000; Rice Harvester; Chue and Tou Lee, Lee’s One Fortune Farm

Rutherford — Grant Award: $6,000; Walk-in Freezer Expansion; Nicole and Aaron Bradley, Colfax Creek Farm

Watauga — Grant Award: $3,000; Paperpot Transplanter; Kara Dodson and Jacob Crigler, Full Moon Farm

Watauga — Grant Award: $6,000; Permanent Bed System/ Cut Flower Production Expansion; Amy Fiedler, Springhouse Farm


Cleveland — Grant Award: $6,000; Full Hands Farm; James Swofford, The Chef’s Farmer

Haywood — Grant Award: $6,000; Nursery Expansion; Sarah Coury and Ben Pick, Saturnia Farm

Henderson — Grant Award: $6,000; Value-added Acidified Food Kitchen; Randy and Carolyn Edmundson, Edmundson Produce Farm

Henderson — Grant Award: $6,000; Juice (Cider) Operations; Tyler Hunsader, Jeter Mountain Farm

Macon — Grant Award: $6,000; Dahlia Flower Plugs and Soil Amendments; Daniel and Lori Cabe, The Flower Company

Polk — Grant Award: $6,000; Heirloom Cider Apple Orchard; Adolph, Matthew and Lucas Atkins, Atkins Orchard


Burke — Grant Award: $6,000; Greenhouse Improvements; Jerry Causby, Causby Greenhouse

Caldwell — Grant Award: $6,000; Greenhouse and Transplanter Upgrades; Heather Bryant and Kris Gupton, High Country Herbs


Clay — Grant Award: $6,000; Bulk Feed Storage; Larry and Brandon Lee, Lee Farms

Haywood — Grant Award: $3,000; Feed Bin for Lamb Operation; Gerald Rathbone

Mitchell — Grant Award: $3,000; Sheep/Goat Handling Equipment; Joseph Paul Miller, Caorach Farm LLC

Watauga — Grant Award: $3,000; Scaling Up Pastured Pig Farm; Dave Walker, Daffodil Spring Farm

Processing & Production

Avery — Grant Award: $3,000; Upgrades to Production Facility; Avery Hughes, High Country Fungi

Buncombe — Grant Award: $6,000; Drying and Packing; Michael and Lauren Rayburn, Rayburn Farm

Buncombe — Grant Award: $6,000; Mushroom Grow Domes; Natalie Gerardot, Myco Rhizing, LLC

Buncombe — Grant Award: $6,000; Walk-In Floral Cooler; Niki Irving, Flourish Flower Farm

Cleveland — Grant Award: $6,000; Infrastructure for Vegetable Production; Linda Laine, Mardet Family Farm LLC

Haywood — Grant Award: $6,000; KT’s Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar; KT’s Orchard and Apiary

Henderson — Grant Award: $6,000; Make Blackberries Local Again; Dalton Rhodes, Rhodes Berry Farm

Macon — Grant Award: $6,000; Handling Facility for Spent Brewers Grain; Todd Seagle, Seagle Livestock

McDowell — Grant Award: $6,000; Packing Shed; Anna and Wesley Sleight, Sleight Family Farm

Watauga — Grant Award: $3,000; Wash, Pack and Storage Facility; Casy Jordaan, Mountainwise Farm