Local Growers Awarded NC AgVentures Farm Grants

Seventy family farms in 46 counties have been named winners in a grant program aimed at supporting family farms. The competitive grant program (NC AgVentures) is administered by the NC State Extension Service, with funding provided through the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. 

The grants are awarded for innovative projects aimed at diversifying, expanding or implementing new entrepreneurial plans for farm operations. Growers received grant awards of between $2000 and $8000.

Farmers in 46 counties — Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Cabarrus, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Forsyth, Gaston, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Iredell, Johnston, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Nash, Northampton, Orange, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Sampson, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Vance, Wake, Wayne, Wilson, Wilkes, Warren, and Yadkin, were eligible.

The North Carolina General Assembly created the North Carolina 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.

Cooperative Extension is an educational partnership of the state’s two land-grant universities, North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State University, county governments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its mission is to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolina.

JOHNSTON

Eryn Godwin of Benson will the grant to purchase plastic-culture equipment.

Jason Barbour of Four Oaks will use the grant to acquire a precision GPS unit for my self-propelled sprayer.

Jeffrey Wood of Willow Spring will use the grant to construct a farm stand on our existing family farm.


ALAMANCE COUNTY

Geoff Morrison from Liberty received an NC AgVentures grant to expand his livestock production.

Lindsey Chinni from Burlington received an NC AgVentures grant to build a walk-in cooler and beekeeping/honey storage.

Sonya Weavil from Graham received an NC AgVentures grants to expand her microgreens production.

Alamance County Extension received an NC AgVentures grant to purchase portable livestock scales for producers to rent.

ALLEGHANY

Adam and Mecca Lowe of Glade Valley received an NC AgVentures grant to create a working sorghum syrup production facility.

ANSON

Robert Stovall of Wadesboro received an NC AgVentures grant to purchase cheese making equipment.

ASHE

Evan Walker of Crumpler received an NC AgVentures grant to purchase livestock scales for his beef and swine farm.

Paige Smith of Vilas received an NC AgVentures grant to purchase and install portable freezer space to store and transport product.

CASWELL

Sarah Shumaker of Blanch received an NC AgVentures grant to repurpose an old dairy milk parlor to add space for more events and inventory to increase revenue for her cut flower business.

Susanne Hawkins of Burlington received a grant to add a shelter to a roadside vegetable and plant store.

CATAWBA

Tori Ostwinch of Conover will use the grant to build a 20×30 metal building on the farm for storage of amendments, tools, equipment, and vegetables.

CHATHAM

Emily Fuller of Siler City will use the grant to add to the farm’s perennial rose garden.

DAVIDSON

Ben Geiger of Denton will use the grant to build a shaded high tunnel with specialty irrigation for summer lettuce and mushroom production.

Janice Fine of Denton will use the grant funds to modernize the produce packing facility and on-farm store.

Jennifer Rosecrans of Lexington to expand market vegetables such as baby greens, and high quality, gourmet root vegetables to grow year round.

DAVIE

Jonathan Almond of Mocksville will use the grant to diversify current farming operation by adding cut flowers and produce.

Nikki Long of Mocksville will use the grant to increase retail store capacity to provide more locally sourced products to the community.

Davie Soil and Water received a grant for portable cattle handling equipment for livestock producers (small, new and with inadequate facilities) to rent and improve the ability to manage cattle on their operations.

DURHAM

Hector Lopez from Durham received an NC AgVentures grant to build facilities for the agri-tourism business.

Valarie Jarvis of Durham will use the grant to open a fully functioning, solar-powered farm store offering proteins and local produce for the community.

Durham Farmers Market in Durham will use the grant to purchase a computer to create marketing materials and a tablet to help with vendor sales.

EDGECOMBE

Cody Water of Rocky Mount will use the grant to purchase a stainless steel media filter for crop irrigation.

FORSYTH

Dana Nicholson of Tobaccoville will use the grant to increase livestock grazing capacity.

Emma Hendel of Pfaftown will use the grant funds to purchase retail display, and cold storage to transform their existing barn to a year-round farm store.

STEMZ of Winston-Salem will use the grant to add a second local-only floral distribution hub to expand capacity to serve NC flower farms.

Cobblestone Farmers Market of Winston-Salem will use the grant to purchase cold storage for market vendors to maintain product freshness.

FRANKLIN

Beth Gayden of Louisburg will use the grant to increase the size of the existing indoor mushroom operation by renovating an old schoolhouse trailer into a larger lab facility and spawn growing room.

GASTON

Joel Stroot of Dallas will use the grant funds to add sustainable irrigation to an organic permaculture elderberry and fruit orchard.

Frankie Lineberger of Dallas will use the grant funds to diversify farm income stream through an elderberry products business.

HARNETT

Larry Wester of Fuquay Varina will use the grant to build a new hay shelter.

Harnett County Extension in Lillington received a grant to build an equipment shelter at the Harnett Extension office to house equipment that is used by area farmers.

IREDELL

Paul Krawiec of Statesville will use the grant to add blackberries to his U-Pick Blueberry business.

LINCOLN

Michael McSwain from Lawndale will use the grant funds to renovate/add to a rebaling system to increase efficiency and lower labor costs.

MECKLENBURG

Julia Rogers of Huntersville will use the funds to build a walk-in cooler to store cut flowers.

NASH

Cole Strickland from Nashville will use the grant to build a storefront and increase freezer storage capacity.

Marilyn Fincher from Nashville will use the grant to purchase hoop house materials for her flower farm.

ORANGE

Cynthia Stubbs from Hillsborough will use the grant to add a second well with a solar-powered well pump as a water source for currently underutilized acreage (approximately 10 acres).

Jeff Sykes from Mebane will use the grant to build a store front for their farm store and growing agri-tourism business.

Rebecca Sorensen from Chapel Hill will use the grant to renovate a barn into an ADA compliant structure so that all guests feel welcomed and safe.

Renee McPherson from Mebane will use the grant to purchase equipment to make her wildlife food bagging system more efficient.

Ritchie and Beverly Roberts from Hillsborough will use the grant to purchase a Safety Zone Calf Catcher and ATV to work cattle safely in the field.

Stanley Hughes from Hurdle Mills will use the grant funds purchase a skid steer and sweet potato bins for curing and stacking.

PERSON

Changhe Zhou from Chapel Hill will use the grant to expand his crop of Ecorganic melons and cucumbers.

PITT

Gary Foote from Farmville will use the grant to construct a greenhouse to extend the growing season for ginger and turmeric crops

RANDOLPH

Charles Hickerson from Franklinville will use the grant to expand the number of milking goats in his herd, which will increase the volume of milk to be sold and support expansion of cheese making operations for others.

Lynn Baker will use the grant to renovate a vacant field by installing perennial shrub for cut-flower production.

ROCKINGHAM

Seth Durham from Reidsville will use the grant to convert an old pack barn into a cattle working facility.

ROWAN

Carrie Barnhardt of Mooresville will use the grant to create a safe and efficient area to expand sheep production.

Jessica Evans from Mount Ulla will use the grant to create an on-farm store.

Jessica long from Salisbury will use the grant to transition an old family tobacco/hay farm into a cut flower and produce farm.

SAMPSON

Dixie Jordan from Clinton will use the grant to purchase a pecan tree shaker for my pecan farm and to complete a pecan packing/storage facility.

STANLEY

Garrett Snuggs from Wadesboro will use the grant to install solar-powered electric fences, automated feeding machines to lower cost and increase efficiency.

STOKES

Jerry Manuel from Danbury received an NC AgVentures to purchase cold storage to store fresh produce.

Eric Younts from Walnut Cove will use the grant to purchase a spreader that will help amend the soils in my vineyard as well as other vineyards and farms in my surrounding area.

Jessica Armstrong from Walnut Cove will us the grant to transition a tobacco bulk barn into a mobile, free range, hen house to support our growing farm operation.

John Brasfield will use the grant funds to purchase properly designed and appropriate sheep handling facilities to reduce accidents and injuries to both animals and humans.

SURRY

Joseph Shrum from Mt. Airy will use the grant to install an irrigation system that will allow them to expand their market garden from 1.5 acres to 5.5 acres.

Lorrie Sawyers of Pinnale will use the grant to build a point of sale building for our strawberry farm.

Renee Westmoreland from Mount Airy will use the grant to tag, band and vaccinate cattle at 7 former tobacco farms to obtain GAP certification with a cattle squeeze chute/handling system.

UNION

Patricia Thompson of Indian Trail will use the grant to purchase equipment for honey production, and honey bee production.

Union County Farmers Market in Monroe will use the grant to purchase a freezer for the Union County Food Hub.

WAYNE

Joyce and Jeannette Bowden from Goldsboro will use the grant to convert/refurbish a bulk tobacco barn for use as a walk-in cooler for summer produce.

WILKES

Deanna Prevette from Ronda will use the grant to purchase a plastic mulch layer.

WILSON

Jeffrey Boykin from Sims will use the grant to purchase a pea and bean sheller and cleaner.

Jordan Tyner from Elm City will use the grant to purchase a sand filter for irrigating crops.

Lizzie Griffin from Elm City will use the grant to expand her pasture raised pork operation with farrowing huts, guard rails and pens.

YADKIN

Claudia Townsend from Boonville will use the grant to expand her cut flower operation with hydrangeas and peonies.