Media Resources

    Funding for Farm Grants 2018

    Applications must be received at the WNC Communities office by November 17. WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobac ”…continue

    2018 WNC AgOptions Grant Application

      Click on below links to download. PDF           WORD            

    2018 GRANT CYCLE CLOSED

    The 2018 WNC AgOptions grant cycle is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.  The evaluation process is underway.  WNC AgOptions will announce the awards in early 2018.

    2017 Farm Grant Recipients Reflect Strength of WNC Diversified Ag

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 6, 2017 Contact: Jennifer Ferre, (828) 252-4783, admin@wncagoptions.org; Or the local N.C. Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent Farm grant recipients reflect strength of WNC dive ”…continue

    Funding for Farm Grants 2017 & 2018

    Application deadline Nov. 14. WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. The program helps offset farmers' risk of starting ventures or growing new oper ”…continue

    2016 Grants for Mountain Farm Diversification Awarded

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 01, 2016 Contact: Jennifer Ferre, (828) 252-4783, admin@wncagoptions.org; Or the local N.C. Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent Grants for mountain farm diversification awarded ”…continue


AgOptions 2006 Economic Impact Study

July 2006

Primary data for this analysis was derived from original grant requests, site visits, telephone and email communication, and a three page survey administered in the late winter and early spring of 2006. Surveys on 68 projects and 74 grants were returned.

AgOptions Executive Summary

The primary cash crop for many of our mountain communities has been burley tobacco for many years. The continuing annual decreases in burley tobacco marketing quotas, increasing disease pressure, difficulties in obtaining reliable labor, and uncertainty about the future of the tobacco program is forcing farmers to consider other sources of income to support their families.

Project Goals and Objectives

The goal of this project is to encourage Western North Carolina farmers who are dependent on tobacco income or farmers who live in tobacco dependent communities to diversify operations by trying new alternative agricultural income opportunities. Farmers will create plans for projects for supplemental sources of agricultural income through inclusion of agricultural tourism ventures and/or a diversified mix of agricultural commodities.

Project History

The Agricultural Tourism and Crop Diversification Demonstration Program started as a concept during the late Spring of 2003. Partners brought to the table to discuss state of the western North Carolina mountain farmer included several Agriculture and Community Development Extension Agents, County Extension Directors, North Carolina Department of Agriculture Marketing Division Specialists and the non-profit organization Handmade in America Programming Director.

Project Justification

Benefits will include increased income for farmers from either diversifying their crop or venturing into agriculture tourism. Approximately 40 farmers each year will be funded in order to reduce their dependency on tobacco income by supplementing their farm operation with other enterprises. These 40 farmers will be trained by the Cooperative Extension agents in their local communities (approximately 30 agents involved in program) to learn what other crops are suited for the region and market.

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