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Leicester Farms Awarded $24,000 In Grants

Staff Report

Leicester, NC — Four Leicester farms are awarded WNC AgOptions grants totaling $24,000 for farm diversification projects. Addison Farms Vineyard, Gaining Ground Farm, S.D Morgan Farms, and Wild Berry Farm all received $6,000 grants to help fund farm projects.

Diversifying farmers in Western North Carolina are receiving support to offset the risk of expanding and trying new ventures. WNC Agricultural Options awarded 39 farm businesses a total of $216,000 in $3,000 and $6,000 grants on Thursday, February 7 at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River.

Six of the farm businesses received $3,000 and 33 received $6,000. The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is the exclusive financial supporter of WNC AgOptions, which aims to build sustainable farming communities in the mountain region by providing resources directly to farmers.

“The WNC AgOptions program has proven success stories,” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “We continue to be amazed at how these producers utilize these funds to ensure their family farms grow and remain profitable.”

The administrator of WNC AgOptions is WNC Communities, a non-profit organization that has been supporting agriculture in the region since 1947. WNC Communities provides a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities, as well as managing programs to enhance the agriculture and forestry sectors.

“WNC Communities is honored to be the administrator of this annual funding opportunity designed to support farmers in their quest to try new techniques or implement innovative farming practices,” said Jennifer Ferre, Interim Director of WNC Communities. “WNC AgOptions strengthens our agricultural community, ultimately benefiting us all.”

Editor’s note: Be sure to get the complete report in this week’s Leicester Leader out Thursday.

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