Richmond County Daily Journal
Farming families in Richmond County may have funds becoming available to them.
The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and the N.C. Rural Center have partnered to bring more grant funds to North Carolina Farmers. The Family Farm Innovation Fund combines $1 million of state funding administered through the Rural Center, with a match of $1 million from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. The $2 million has been combined with grant funding available to farmers from several other funding agencies that are already underway as NCTTFC projects.
Over the next year, the programs are expected to provide grants for up to 1,500 farm projects and energy efficiency training for an additional 2,400 farmers.
Applications are available for three grants. Farmers can apply for the Farm Energy Efficiency Project which provides low-cost energy audits and grants to help farmers boost energy efficiency. The energy audits and grants may be used to fulfill requirements of USDA’s REAP program. They can apply for the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund which the Rural Advancement Foundation International has set aside as cost-sharing grants to help farmers develop new farm income. The N.C. Value-Added Cost Sharing Program provides farmers with grant writing assistance, feasibility assessments, matching funds and equipment to help farmers implement value-added production.
Federal programs for which farmers may leverage grant funds include the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which has grants and guaranteed loans to help farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses with energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects, or the Value-Added Producer Grants, which help farmers produce and market value-added agricultural products.
Anyone interested in the Farm Energy Efficiency Project can visit www.ncfarmenergy.org. For more information on the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment fund can visit www.ncfarmgrants.org for more information on how to apply. For information on the N.C. Value-Added cost Sharing Program visit www.ncmarketready.org.
Any other information about the Family Farm Innovation Fund can be found at www.tobaccotrustfund.org or call the NCTTFC office at 919-733-2160.
Dawn Kurry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 997-3111 ext. 15.