Written By: Jocelyn Roten
Nearly 100 grant applications were received for the program in 2018, and awards were granted in the last quarter. $152,100 was awarded to 28 local organizations and 12 college students in 2018.
In 2014, Carolina Farm Credit established the Corporate Mission Fund to provide grants to local, non-profit ag-related organizations and scholarships to NC college agriculture students. 2018 marked the fourth year the Association awarded grants.
“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 28 organizations receiving funding in late 2018 are:
- Arlington Fire & Rescue Inc. (Yadkin County) – The grant funds will be used to purchase agricultural rescue equipment to aid and assist in the extrication of patients from agricultural equipment accidents. A rescue airbag system will be purchased to help lift very heavy equipment and objects.
- Avery County Agriculture Extension Center (Avery County) – Their grant will allow for the purchase of a versatile 16 ft. bumper pull livestock trailer equipped with a swinging back gate, cleated rubber floors, and middle divider. The trailer will be used by various producers in Avery and Mitchell Counties on a check out basis. This will allow producers the chance to safely and properly transport and handle all types of livestock with the use of a quality trailer, which many producers cannot independently afford.
- Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (Watauga County) – Grant funds will help the group buy a large glass front refrigerator, two stainless steel tables, and organizing bins, which will allow farmers to store and sell their products through the Food Hub’s online market.
- Blue Ridge Youth Livestock Chain Program (Alleghany County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase feed and other supplies for livestock during training and educational camps for local youth. Any remaining funds will be used to purchase project animals.
- Carolina Farm Trust (Mecklenburg County) – Their grant will fund the ground breaking of a 1.5 acre urban farm project in Statesville, NC. This farm will aim to combat food insecurity in the region.
- Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association (CFCA) (Catawba County) – This group hosts several large BBQ fundraising events and association meetings each year. Their grant funds will be used to purchase a new BBQ cooker.
- Cleveland Community College Foundation, Inc. (Cleveland County) – Grant funds will be used by CCC's Brown Emergency Training Center (Brown ETC) to purchase a non-running tractor and a square baler. This will aid in agricultural equipment rescue training and certification.
- Eastern Guilford High School FFA (Guilford County) – The agriculture program is seeking to build a fenced-in nursery at the school. Grant funds will be used to purchase fencing materials, shrubs and fruit trees to grow and maintain, propagation and shrub maintenance materials, irrigation and timer systems, and landscape materials.
- Friends of the Eno River Farmers Market (Orange County) – Grant funds will be used to expand the market’s Double Market Bucks program. It will award $1 for every $1 spent by a customer using an EBT/SNAP card at the market.
- Glenola Sportsmen for Christ (Randolph County) – This organization hosts an annual Dreaming Big Disabled Deer hunt, which is supported 100% by donations. Grant funds will be used to supply meals and lodging for 60 disabled hunters to attend this event for three days and two nights.
- Lake Norman Agricultural Education/FFA (Iredell County) – Grant funds will be used to support the schools small animal courses in raising rabbits as part of their curriculum. It will also help pay for FFA members to show the rabbits at local fairs and events.
- Murphy High School - Family and Consumer Science Department (Cherokee County) – The Murphy High School Family and Consumer Science Department is teaming up with the Agriculture Science Department in an effort to expose students to where certain foods come from. This grant will allow students to visit local farms to learn how to grow and harvest vegetables, as well as build and plant a school garden.
- NC Rural Center (Buncombe County) – Grant funds will support the Homegrown Leaders program, a regional leadership training program for rural leaders in western NC.
- North Carolina School for the Deaf Agriculture Department (Burke County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a GrowSpan Round Economy High Tunnel, allowing for an extended growing season to educate students in producing local food.
- Oak Grove High School FFA (Davidson County) – This grant will be used to help fund different activities that the school’s new FFA Chapter is planning on pursuing in the upcoming school year.
- Office of Environment and Natural Resources (Jackson County) – The Cherokee seeds project works to preserve the foods that are traditional to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Grant funds will be used to purchase a small BCS two-wheel tractor that will allow for the group to effectively work the soil for their seed bank plots and requires little training for any community member who may be operating it.
- Polk County Schools (Polk County) – Grant funds will be used to complete the School Farm Truck Project and purchase a flatbed trailer, which will be used to haul produce grown by the students in the agriculture programs.
- Rising Hope Farms (Catawba County) – This farm offers therapeutic riding to individuals with physical limitations. Grant funds will be used to purchase an ATV which will be used to transport riders around the farm.
- Sandhills Cooperation Association (Moore County) – The grant funds will be used to acquire the equipment necessary to establish a laboratory to propagate mushroom mycelium, prepare the hardwood growing medium, and dehydrate mushrooms that are not sold fresh. These are the necessary core around which the mushroom growers and marketing cooperative can be built.
- Stanly Community College (Stanly County) – This grant will be used to add vertical hydroponic growing towers to the campus greenhouses. These towers will allow the group to make the most out of their greenhouse space by growing vegetables and herbs in less time, with a smaller ecological footprint.
- Sugar Hill Montford Cove Fire Department (McDowell County) – Most of the geographical area covered by this department is remote mountain regions popular with hunters, hikers, timber cutters, and farmers. Often these areas are accessible only on foot and rescue and recovery efforts are slowed by the exertion of carrying a victim on a stretcher. Grant funds will be used to purchase a litter (a lightweight, basket-type, portable stretcher) equipped with straps to secure the victim, along with a single wheel to attach to the bottom to make movement easier along single-track paths and trails.
- TRACTOR Food and Farms (Yancey County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase and install a lift gate on the back of TRACTOR’s refrigerated delivery box truck. The life gate will allow the delivery driver to raise and lower cargo to meet the heights of loading docks and to offload produce with a pallet jack or push cart.
- Veterans Healing Farm (Henderson County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a zero-turn lawn mower for grounds maintenance at the Veterans Healing Farm. A zero turn mower will enable the VHF staff who maintain multiple acres of land to accomplish mowing more quickly, thus freeing up more time for program related tasks.
- Victory Farm Inc. (Gaston County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a horse trailer in order to transport horses for the different therapeutic riding and show programs that the farm participates in.
- Waynesville Middle School Agriculture Dept. (Haywood County) – This school is working on a project to enable 330 students each year to learn hands-on and real life woodworking and small engine repair skills. They will use their grant to provide woodworking and small engine repair tools for their students.
- Western Alamance FFA (Alamance County) – Grant funds will be used to assist the FFA in constructing different garden beds and growing their own vegetables at the school.
- Wilkes Central High School Agriculture Program (Wilkes County) – Grant funds will be used to begin a small animal program at the school. This will allow students to build fencing and housing for the program animals.
- WNC Communities (Buncombe County) – Grant funds will be used to provide support for the 10-day youth livestock exhibit and competition program at the Mountain State Fair.
In addition to our Corporate Mission Fund Grants, we awarded 12 scholarships to the following:
The recipients of the 2018-2019 N.C. A&T State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Kaitlyn E. Templeton, Josh Kerns, Cassidy Garwood, and Chelsea Kiker.
The recipients of the 2018-2019 NC State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Olin W. Austin, Elizabeth Carrigan, Melanie Fishel, and Rebecca Pierce.
The recipients of the 2018-2019 University of Mount Olive – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Marion Smith, Austin Rash, Luke Johnson, and Sarah Spicer.