2011 Program Background

WNC AgOptions Awards 2011 Farm Diversification Projects

Grants support diverse agricultural ventures, build local agriculture system

The WNC Agricultural Options program recently awarded six community groups and 47 farmers grants totaling $326,000 to assist them in farm diversification and joint marketing and distribution efforts.

This year’s community grant recipients are creating cohesion, infrastructure and marketing for local products. Individual farm businesses are improving such diverse operations as a 75-acre kale, turnips and collards farm in Cherokee County, a new dairy in Madison County, a micro-greens venture in Watauga County, and a canned bamboo shoots business in McDowell County.

Community groups received varying amounts totaling $92,000. Grantees are: Avery County Farmers Tailgate Marketing Association, Jackson County Christmas Tree Association, Mountain Cattle Alliance, Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center, Watauga County Farmers Market and Southern Appalachian Family Farms.

Three individual farm businesses received $9,000 grants, 25 received $6,000 and 19 received $3,000. Projects increase the economic sustainability of farm businesses as well as provide demonstration to other transitioning farmers.

2011 WNC AgOptions Grantees





High Country 5,000 Avery County Farmers Tailgate Marketing Association Community Advertising and Educational Campaign
Far West 13,000 Jackson County Christmas Tree Association Market Expansion for Christmas Tree Growers
Far West 20,000 Mountain Cattle Alliance Improving Marketability of WNC Livestock
Central Mountains 19,000 Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center/Friends of Agriculture Polk Fresh Trade Post
High Country 18,000 Watauga County Farmers Market Site Analysis and Capacity-Building
Far West 17,000 Southern Appalachian Family Farms (SAFF) SAFF Start-Up and Marketing Plan
Avery 6000 Amos Nidiffer Poultry Processing Facility
Avery 6000 Grady Bob Johnson Jr. Bees and Berries
Buncombe 3000 Anthony Cole Production of Colored Bell Peppers
Buncombe 3000 William Metes Shiitake Mushroom Smokehouse
Buncombe 6000 Joan & Carl Chesick Heckuva Honey House
Buncombe 6000 Thomas Shepherd Jr. Specialty Poultry
Buncombe 6000 Loretta Ball Craggy View Farm Store
Buncombe 6000 Leslie Sigmon Indoor Oyster Mushroom Production
Buncombe 9000 Eddie & Jeff Frisbee Vineyard and Winery Expansion
Cherokee 6000 Stephen Thompson Wine Tasting Room, Pavilion
Cherokee 6000 Katie Erwin Greenhouse Underbench Heat and Irrigation Systems
Cherokee 9000 Timothy Davis Translicer for Greens
Cherokee Reservation 3000 Mary Thompson Traditional Cherokee Delicacies
Graham 3000 Jeff Mansker Honey House and Extractor
Haywood 3000 Herman Garrison Clean Farm
Haywood 6000 Ray Chambers Refrigeration Transporation
Haywood 3000 Steve & Terry King Raspberry and Vegetable Expansion
Henderson 3000 Rick & Karen Jordan Produce and Poultry Cooler
Henderson 6000 Larry Stepp Jr. Berry Irrigation Project
Jackson 3000 David Noland Improving Genetics and Structure
Jackson 3000 Steve Beltram Poultry Processing Equipment
Jackson 6000 Joni & John Wavra Truffle Project
Macon 6000 Tim & Annie Burrell Nuc Production for Natural Beekeeping
Macon 6000 Jodie Zahner Expanding Production of Oconee Bells
Madison 3000 Cassandra Lewis Dairy Goat Parlor
Madison 3000 Frank Teneralli Blackberry Production
Madison 3000 Thomas Charles Winter Squash Curing Shed with Temperature Control
Madison 3000 Shannon Roberts Value Added Cattle
Madison 6000 Sue Mickey Pure Dairy Goat Pet Milk
Madison 6000 Chuck & Jeannie Blethen Greenhouse and Vineyard Expansion
Madison 9000 Steven Davis Dairy Barn
McDowell 6000 Mario & Michael DeLuca Wine Production
McDowell 6000 Bao Yang Bamboo Shoots Testing/Processing
Mitchell 3000 Mark Byrd Creep Feeder
Mitchell 3000 Mark Conley Farming Hops
Polk 6000 Randy & Megan Smith All Natural Pastured Poultry
Swain 6000 Mike & Joan Glover Sleepy Hollow Farm Heritage Birds
Transylvania 6000 Ronald & Cheryl Searcy Goat Treatment Facility
Watauga 3000 Robert Johnson Harvest Equipment for Small-Scale Vineyard
Watauga 3000 Todd Nolt Raspberries
Watauga 3000 Jill Nicklaw Microgreens
Watauga 6000 Jimmy & Sheila Greene Meat CSA and Marketing
Watauga 3000 Charles Church Vegetable Expansion
Watauga 6000 Ryan Norris Goat Leasing/Meat Production
Yancey 3000 Ryan Wiebe Well Establishment/ Drip Irrigation/ Fertigation
Yancey 6000 Billy Bryant Produce Expansion
Yancey 6000 Nicole DelCogliano Fine Dining on the Farm