Dennis Francis Farm receives $6000 grant

Feb 12, 2017

ASHEVILLE — Dennis Francis Farm was recently awarded a $6,000 grant by WNC Agricultural Options.

It was one of 35 farms in the region to receive a 2017 grant, which was awarded at an event held at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River.
Dennis Francis Farm will use the grant for seed drill for hay and pasture regeneration.

Farms are creating jobs in areas in great need of employment. Their premium goods are creating a reputation in other parts of the country.

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.

Three of the 2017 recipients received $3,000 while 32 received $6,000.

Eight recipients anticipate hiring additional workers due to this year's grant. Half of the awarded farms are already full-fledged businesses supporting at least one full-time farmer, in some cases due to past WNC AgOptions grants. At least three additional farmers expect to be full-time by the end of the season.

Awarded projects often have high potential for demonstration to other diversifying growers in the region.

Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has awarded 491 farm projects more than $2.3 million. The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has promised $239,000 for WNC AgOptions to distribute to farm businesses in 2018.

“The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is privileged to have a strong partner in WNC communities,” said Bill Teague, chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. "In the past two years, the commission was able to create or sustain nearly 300 North Carolina jobs, while assisting with farmer-driven projects impacting nearly 5,000 acres."

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