STATESVILLE, NC – In 2014, Carolina Farm Credit established the Corporate Mission Fund to provide grants to local, non-profit, agriculture-related organizations and scholarships to NC college agriculture students. 2020 marks the sixth year Carolina Farm Credit has awarded these grants and scholarships. Nearly 125 grant applications were received for the program in 2020, and awards were granted in the fourth quarter. $141,500 was awarded to 25 local organizations and 12 college students.
Carolina Farm Credit will begin advertising again for this grant program early in January, 2021 and will hold a luncheon for all grant recipients in May, 2021.
“Our Corporate Mission Fund allows us an opportunity to support grass roots organizations that are making a difference in their rural communities. We are also thrilled to be able to support these college students furthering their education with the scholarships." Vance Dalton, CEO, Carolina Farm Credit
The 25 organizations that received funding were:
- Agribusiness Henderson County (Henderson County) – Agribusiness Henderson County works to garner ongoing support for agriculture from the county government and the general public, by strategically showing its economic benefit and value. Their grant funds will be used to fund agricultural economic research for Henderson County, in order to quantify the contribution of agriculture to the local tax base.
- Appalachian State University Foundation (Watauga County) – Grant funds will be used to dig a new well at the Appalachian State University Sustainable Development Farm. The proposed well will build capacity for the farm in its initiatives to produce food for University Food Services.
- Ashe County Farmers’ Market (Ashe County) – This organization will use grant funds to promote their organization as a safe and healthy choice to purchase family groceries and address local health issues in response to COVID-19. ACFM will provide a safe shopping alternative and easy access to healthy food. An important goal is to reach food and health fragile residents thru EBT/SNAP, and transportation.
- Back in the Woods Again (Chatham County) – This organization seeks to provide a safe hunting environment to wheelchair bound individuals, children with disabilities, and other individuals that could not otherwise hunt. Grant funds will help the group host their annual disabled hunter’s event, by providing lodging, meals, and gear to hunters.
- Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (Watauga County) – This grant will be used to continue to build local food infrastructure that sustains the rural economies and communities, meet the local community’s demand for local food, and ensure that WNC farmers are able to have viable livelihoods. They will be expanding their food storage facilities at the High Country Food Hub.
- Brighter Paths, Inc. (Anson County) – Grant funds will be used to fund the organization’s Workforce Initiative Network which aims to teach youth about skills that can be valuable to the community and provide a career for them as well. Youth participants will be gaining hands-on learning and skills by implementing modern and traditional farming techniques on the McRae & Watson farm restoration project.
- Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (Cabarrus County) – This organization’s mission is to advocate, educate, and build connections to create sustainable food systems. Grant funds will be used to purchase and construct two caterpillar-style high tunnels to increase produce donations and offer training to those in their community interested in growing food.
- Carolina Farm Trust (Mecklenburg County) – Carolina Farm Trust’s mission is to rebuild local food systems, from production to consumption. Their grant will be used to support the Urban Farm at Aldersgate, a six acre food producing farm located in East Charlotte that will provide solutions for access to fresh and healthy food with affordability, community engagement, and connection to sustainable and healthy food/farming practices.
- Central Carolina Holstein Association (Orange County) – Grant funds will be used to complete roof repairs to the county livestock show barn. These improvements are necessary to accommodate future needs of the CCHA and facility users such as the Central Piedmont Junior Livestock Show and Sale (CPJLS). This facility has served the agricultural community since 1965 for CCHA shows and sales, private community events, and the CPJLS.
- Children’s Hope Alliance (Iredell County) – Grant funds will be used to expand and fence in the therapy garden at the Children’s Hope Alliance. They also plan to purchase and install a small greenhouse for year-round use. The organization’s mission is to create hope, health, and healing for generations.
- Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (Swain County) – The Horticulture Office of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians primary responsibility is the propagation of native plants, culturally significant plants, vegetable transplants, small fruit, fruit trees, honey, traditional foods, and seeds for tribal farmers. Their grant funds will be used to improve the sustainable weed management program, purchase supplies for the seed bank, as well as greenhouse/nursery, culturally significant plant program, and food production expansion.
- Marshall Volunteer Fire Department (Madison County) – The Marshall Volunteer Fire Department provides fire and rescue services to approximately 84 square miles covering the Marshall community. Their grant funds will be used to purchase heavy-duty lifting air bags to provide emergency rescue during agricultural/farming accidents.
- McDowell Ag Center Inc. (McDowell County) – The McDowell Ag Center Inc. was established with the goal of building a facility to host events that encourage and promote a higher standard of excellence in agriculture. The facility is used to instruct and demonstrate modern farming practices as well as to provide a livestock housing location during disasters. The center has hosted countless youth livestock shows throughout the years. Grant funds will be used to purchase and install livestock pens and scales for small livestock.
- Millers Ferry Fire Department (Rowan County) – The Millers Ferry Fire Department is dedicated to protecting, serving, and saving the lives and property of the people in their community by providing safe, reliable, and quick responsiveness to any and all emergency related incidents. They will use their grant funds to purchase large farm equipment jacks to be used in agricultural/farm accidents.
- NC Cooperative Extension (Union County) – The mission of this organization is to deliver research-based information from NC State and NCA&T University to communities in the areas of agriculture and food, health and nutrition, and 4-H youth development. Grant funds will be used to purchase a mobile poultry processing unit. This unit will be available to rent for local poultry producers. For small scale poultry producers there are limited options for processing in the county and the southern piedmont region. Having the ability to process poultry on the farm can increase production capacity and allow small farmers to expand their operations and increase revenue.
- NC Cooperative Extension (Davie County) – The mission of this organization is to deliver research-based information from NC State and NCA&T University to communities in the areas of agriculture and food, health and nutrition, and 4-H youth development. Grant funds will be used to start a mobile farmers market that accepts food stamps (SNAP) and offers fresh, local foods to limited resource populations in underserved areas of the county. Funds will purchase a commercial refrigerator and freezer to store and aggregate fresh produce and other products from area farmers. The project will provide a new market for unsold products for local farmers.
- North Carolina School for the Deaf (Burke County) – The North Carolina School for the Deaf is a day/residential facility for the education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Their grant funds will be used to purchase a Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponic System for teaching how to grow hydroponically using the recirculating nutrient film technique (NFT). This project will allow the organization to grow healthy crops in a greenhouse or indoors and use the produce to provide valuable skills in food production for the agriculture education classes.
- Partnership for a Sustainable Community – Carrboro Farmers’ Market (Orange ) – The Carrboro Farmers’ Market is an outlet for local farmers to sell their produce while providing locals greater access to high-quality, fresh produce. Grant funds will be used to provide enjoyable, engaging programming for kids in their community through interacting with farmers, educational games and activities, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables at the market.
- Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group (Caswell County) – Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group (PPFG) promotes sustainable and diverse farming through education, technical assistance and marketing to enhance overall operation of small, disadvantaged farmers. Grant funds will be used to purchase a trailer to transport the two-bushel, pea and bean sheller and to purchase an egg grader. The trailer will allow easy access to the pea sheller in terms of hauling and delivery to farms and the egg grader will allow farmers to provide high quality eggs to local markets.
- Solus Christus (Yadkin County) – Solus Christus is a women’s rehabilitation facility with the goal of helping women find freedom from drugs, alcohol, and abuse. They plan to use their grant funds to purchase a commercial Rototiller, top soil, and mulch for expanding their gardens.
- Southwestern Community College Small Business Center (Jackson County) – This college has a mission to increase the success rate and number of viable small businesses in the region by providing high quality, accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners, which will lead to job creation and retention and overall job growth. Grant funds will support the Appalachian Farm School hosted by the college. This is an 8-week program aimed to help farmers understand the business aspects of farming.
- The Oaks Therapeutic Community, Inc. (Randolph County) – the Oaks Therapeutic Community, Inc. partners with women as they work toward wellness through establishing a lifestyle of healthy choices. Grant funds will go towards the organization’s Garden and Wellness Program which provides a consistent therapeutic support network and food resources for women and children.
- Urban Community AgriNomics (UCAN) (Durham County) – UCAN provides education and skill acquisition in healthy lifestyles, seed-to-table food preparation/preservation, hands-on STEAM and agriculture. They create access and reduce inequities through use of the Catawba Trail Farm. Grant funds will be used to expand the Agritourism Program at the Catawba Trail Farm.
- Veterans Healing Farm (Henderson County) – Veterans Healing Farm provides education, community, and personal empowerment to veterans. They donate flower bouquets and nutrient-dense produce throughout the growing season to veterans at the VA Hospital and local food pantries. Their grant will be used to purchase a utility vehicle for use on the farm.
- Wingate University (Union County) – Wingate University is a comprehensive, independent and growing university, serving over 3,600 students. Their mission is to develop educated, ethical, and productive citizens. Grant funds will be used on a project to partner with East Union Middle to create an immersive agricultural education experience for 20-25 students interested in science, agriculture, and technology.
The recipients of the 2020-2021 N.C. A&T State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: William James, Quontaza Bowden, Julia Perry, and Jaheim Holder.
The recipients of the 2020-2021 NC State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Jason Koopman, Kaycee Ramsey, Matthew Swaney, and Logan French.
The recipients of the 2020-2021 University of Mount Olive – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Luke Johnson, Sarah Spicer, Sarah McAllister, and Shade Wilbanks.
For more information about scholarships, please visit carolinafarmcredit.com.
Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and providing financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 30 branch offices. Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs, and financial planning.
For over 100 years, Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.
Carolina Farm Credit serves over 11,000 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.7 billion. The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.
Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are David M. Coltrane, Chairman, Pleasant Garden; Vickie N. Smitherman, Vice-Chair, East Bend; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; W. Rex Bell, Statesville; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; Leslie G. Sparks, DVM, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Thomas E. Porter, Jr., Concord; Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.