2018 Recipient: Wildbud Natives

Nathan Buchanan, Wildbud Natives Shade Tunnel Project Grant Award: $3,000 Nathan has expanded his current native plants nursery operation with the addition of a 14′ x 50′ shade tunnel. He also purchased growing supplies to use in the expansion. The … View >>

2016 Recipient: Exotic Natives Nursery

Bill Weeks, Exotic Natives Nursery Expanding Markets and Increasing Manageability and Sales of Native Azaleas Grant Award: $6,000 Bill has made critical changes at his nursery to sell off his current inventory of field-grown azaleas, which are mostly native to … View >>

2015 Recipient: Wild Dahlia Homestead

  Stacey and Alex are growing native plants and forest food crops using permaculture methods, revitalizing compacted soils on forest edges at Stacey’s family farm. Crops include Jerusalem artichokes, American hazelnuts, pawpaws, Rabbiteye blueberries, American groundnuts and King Stropharia mushrooms. … View >>

2014 Recipient: South Valley Nursery

  Tyler is constructing a 60-foot by 26-foot greenhouse to grow out micropropagated plants for sale. He is expanding upon his successful 2013 WNC AgOptions project for which he used tissue culture to propagate rare and endangered native species and … View >>

2013 Recipient: D & J Trees

Jack W. Wiseman, Jr., D & J Trees Momi Fir Grafting and Native Ornamental Production Grant Award: $3,000 Jack is helping solve root rot issues that Christmas tree growers commonly deal with by grafting the root-rot tolerant Momi fir species … View >>

2013 Recipient: South Valley Nursery

Tyler is building a micropropagation lab so that he can mass produce unique plants such as native orchids, which are challenging to propagate using traditional techniques. “Micropropagation is a new technology in the nursery business,” Tyler said. “This technology will … View >>

2011 Recipient: Mary Ann Thompson

Mary Ann Thompson Traditional Delicacies Grant Award: $3,000 — Traditional Cherokee Delicacies Mary Ann recently started her forest delicacies business selling frozen and canned wild greens. She is also raising mountain crawfish, a traditional Cherokee forest food, in small-scale contained … View >>

2011 Recipient: Jodie and Jeff Zahner

Jodie and Jeff Zahner Oconee Bell Farms Grant Award: $6,000 — Oconee Bells The Zahners are expanding greenhouse space for propagating and first-year growing of the rare native evergreen groundcover Shortia galacifolia, commonly known as Oconee Bells. It is in … View >>

2010 Recipient: Van Burnette

Van Burnette: Hop N’ Blueberry Farm Milkweed Production & Butterfly Farming Grant Award: $3,000 Van is establishing a commercial milkweed operation. The primary customers for milkweed are butterfly farmers who are unable to produce sufficient food supply for caterpillars. Van … View >>

2008 Recipient: Bobby Williams

Bobby Williams of Graham County is starting a nursery specializing in native plants. He propagates more than 200 varieties, often times from seed collected in his nearby woods. He sells to nurseries, farmers’ markets and individuals, advertising in local newspapers. … View >>

2005 Farm: David Bodford

  David Bodford is a part time farmer who has grown tobacco in the past along with variety of vegetables and Christmas trees. After experimenting and learning about the production of native shrubs and nursery plants with Harold Buchanan, a … View >>

2005 Farm: Dickie Jarret

  Dickie Jarret has created a radiant heating system for the floor of his greenhouse to utilize the area below the bedding tables. Mr. Jarret will root native shrubs to sell in the winter months. With help from his local … View >>

2004 Farm: Beverly Whitehead

  Beverly and her husband have been farming since they were kids. In 2001 they helped to start the Smoky Mountain Native Plant Association and became cooperators in the Specialty Crops Program. This grant allowed them to expand the specialty … View >>