Johnston County farm families might be eligible for thousands of dollars in grants through an N.C. Cooperative Extension Service program.
NC AgVentures provides grants to farmers in the Tar Heel State for new and innovative agricultural project ideas. The grants range from $5,000 to $10,000.
The grant program, supported by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, will award a minimum of 20 grants to agriculturally dependent farm families in the following counties: Johnston, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Rockingham, Yadkin, Guildford, Martin, Wilson, Pitt, Edgecombe, Nash, Sampson, Lenoir, Duplin, Wayne, Harnett and Greene.
The goal of the program is to strengthen rural, agriculturally dependent communities by giving money to farmers who work to create new ways to diversify, expand or otherwise improve their operations or communities. Ideas include, for example, using a resource in a new way, experimenting with unusual solutions to solve old problems, repurposing tools and equipment and adapting new technology to reduce labor or expand production.
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Previous winners include using radio frequency identification technology to manage sweet potato inventory, repurposing discarded fleece, repurposing bushels of grain, using sand filters to save water and creating an on-farm peanut-drying system.
The application deadline is Jan. 5, and the Johnston County Cooperative Extension Service is available to help local farmers with the process. For more information, or for a copy of the application, go to www.ncagventures.org or call the Extension Service at 919-989-5380.
To read about previous winners, go to agventures.ces.ncsu.edu/grant-program.