Carolina Farm Credit Awards Over $150,000 to Local Non-Profit Organizations and College Ag Students

STATESVILLE, NC – Carolina Farm Credit recently awarded over $150,000 to 25 local organizations and 12 college students for the 2021-2022 Corporate Mission Fund grant program. Over 140 grant applications were received and awards were granted in the fourth quarter. 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. 2021 marks the seventh year Carolina Farm Credit has awarded these grants and scholarships.

Carolina Farm Credit will begin advertising again for this grant program early in January, 2022 and will hold a luncheon for all grant recipients in May, 2022.
“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 will be used to fund participation in the NC Soil & Water Conservation’s – Voluntary Agricultural Districts program for local producers in Henderson County.
  • Appalachian State University Foundation (Watauga County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a tool trailer for the Integrative Design Experience Laboratory (IDEXlab). The trailer will support the work of approximately 30 students per academic year on projects completed by the IDEXlab.
  • Arlington Fire and Rescue (Yadkin County) – This organization will use grant funds to purchase grain bin rescue equipment. Specialized equipment is needed to make a successful rescue in the event someone becomes entrapped inside of a grain bin.
  • 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.
  • Benevolence Farm (Alamance County) – Benevolence Farm will use their grant funds to build a 12’ x 12’ shed for drying and processing herbs, flowers, and vegetables as part of their employment program for formerly incarcerated women. This structure would serve as a ventilated, dedicated space to expand capacity for value-added products such as herb and flower infused body care products and food-grade items such as infused salts and oils.
  • Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (Watauga County) – This grant will be used to purchase needed supplies for the organizations Lettuce Learn program. Since 2015, Lettuce Learn in Watauga County has developed a supportive network of school gardens through resource sharing and regular garden coordinator meetings. Through this program each Watauga K-8 school and Appalachian State’s Child Development Center introduces hundreds of children to agriculture.
  • Brighter Paths, Inc. (Mecklenburg County) – Grant funds will be used to fund the organization’s Workforce Initiative Network which aims to provide youth ages 16-24 with work experiences on an active farm. The Workforce Initiative Network partnership project consists of youth learning to construct greenhouses for year round tomato production and other infrastructure tasks on a local farm.
  • 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.
  • Crossnore Communities for Children (Forsyth County) – Grant funds will be used to build a produce wash station and a shade structure on the Miracle Grounds Farm located on their Winston-Salem campus. Crossnore youth services include residential foster care, day treatment, outpatient clinical therapy, and community foster care and adoption. The farm’s agriculture education-based curriculum supplements these services by providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities and activities for Crossnore kids.
  • Eastlawn Elementary School (Alamance County) – This school will use grant funds to purchase and install a new water irrigation system for their raised garden beds. The school garden assists in teaching valuable engineering and mathematics lessons. It also leads to student discussions on sustainability and problem solving.
  • Foothills Antique Power Association of North Carolina (Catawba County) – This non-profit organization is dedicated to collecting, restoring, and holding demonstrations of antique farm machinery. They plan to use grant funds to build a shelter and furnace, to add a sorghum molasses facility to the Heritage Village at the Hickory American Legion Fair grounds.
  • Janco Community Farms (Iredell County) – Their mission is to increase access to locally grown food for healthy and nutritious consumption. To achieve this mission, JCF created a mobile fresh market. The objective of the mobile market bus is to connect local communities to the local grower that produces their food, all while providing access to nutritionally dense foods. Their grant will be used to install a mobile cold storage unit for extending the life of fresh produce.
  • Mount Pleasant FFA (Cabarrus County) – Mount Pleasant FFA will use grant funds to  create a rotational grazing pasture system with a center lane that allows sheep and goats to access waterers, barn shelter, and feed bunks at all times. Students in this FFA group benefit from this project by participating in animal husbandry practices that are focused on safety, innovation, and current industry standards.
  • NC Cooperative Extension Yancey County 4-H and Youth Development (Yancey 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 establish a swine club, which will allow Yancey County youth the opportunity to learn about agriculture by completing a swine livestock project.
  • North Iredell High School Agriculture Department/FFA (Iredell County) – This organization plans to use funds to construct a hands-on poultry learning laboratory on North Iredell’s campus and purchase the supplies needed for the facility. The lab would be built by students in their agricultural mechanics and sustainable agriculture courses.
  • Quaker Lake Camp Foundation (Guilford County) – Quaker Lake Camp plants a garden each year that not only provides fruits and vegetables for Summer Camp meals, but also serves as an educational experience for campers. This grant will allow them to expand their garden space and add fencing to the garden area.
  • Ronda Community Volunteer Fire Department (Wilkes County) – The Ronda Community Volunteer Fire Department is the primary emergency rescue response team in their very rural 25 square mile district. With the heightened potential for an agricultural equipment rollover in this area, the fire department will use grant funds to purchase a portable automated lift mechanism capable of being placed on an ATV and taken into the fields where an agricultural accident would most likely occur.
  • Rowan County Cooperative Extension (Rowan 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 Cargo Trailer to transport their small ruminant working facility to field days, workshops, and producer's farms, to transport equipment for their shooting sports team to the state program, and to transport luggage and supplies for youth to 4-H summer camp.
  • Roxboro Community School – (Person) Funding received by their grant would benefit students enrolled in the Biotechnology Health Science courses and members of the Youth Garden Club at Roxboro Community School (RCS). Students will be growing vegetables in the greenhouse in order to understand the relationship between health and nutrition. Grant funds would be used to make much needed repairs to the existing greenhouse, replace greenhouse tables and benches, and purchase gardening supplies.
  • 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 an irrigation system that will benefit their vegetable gardens, insuring the gardens have the water needed to produce well.
  • Stanly Soil & Water Conservation District (Stanly County) – This organization plans to use their grant to purchase an additional seed drill for use by landowners, small farms, and those that cannot afford to buy (or do not have the need to buy) a seed drill but still want to utilize no-till planting for conservation purposes.
  • Stokes County Cooperative Extension (Stokes 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 for farmer’s market education and equipment purchase to promote the Walnut Cove Farmers Market and Local foods in Stokes County.
  • Surry Community College (Surry County) – Surry Community College and Surry County Schools will use grant funds to build a live lab facility/barn to directly benefit animal science programs. This demonstration farm would provide space for innovative, hands-on instruction of all aspects of production with an initial focus on small ruminants and swine.
  • Waynesville Middle School Agriculture (Haywood County) – This school will use grant funds to install a greenhouse to enable 330 students each year to learn sustainability practices by growing vegetables and herbs, as well as learning about the concept of food security by practicing local mountain heritage food preservation methods. Students will learn about greenhouse management and growing plants by mastering plant and seed propagation, cutting and graphing, hydroponics, aquaponics, rainwater collection, and drip irrigation.
  • WNC Communities (Buncombe County) – WNC Communities is engaged by the NC Mountain State Fair to lead the youth livestock programs by providing “hands on” coordination of efforts, recruiting volunteers, advising participants, and coordinating the overall implementation of the events & shows. Their grant will be used by WNCC to provide the staff support needed to administer the youth program for over 20 Junior Livestock Shows.

The recipients of the 2021-2022 NC A&T State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: William James, Julia Perry, Precious Bracy, and Yazmin White.

The recipients of the 2021-2022 NC State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Abigail Hamilton, Georgia Daniel, Chase Gaines, and Mattie Harward.

The recipients of the 2021-2022 University of Mount Olive – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Alexis Barrington, Sarah Spicer, Sarah Faith 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 11,500 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, 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 Vickie N. Smitherman, Chair, East Bend: D. Kaleb Rathbone, Vice-Chair, Waynesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; W. Rex Bell, Statesville; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; Andrew W. Burleson, New London; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Dan Hunsucker, Concord; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; J. Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Leslie G. Sparks, DVM, Sparta; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.