Exclusively funded by the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission

2020 Program

Click here to see a list of the 2020 recipients. Mission of WNC AgOptions: Building sustainable farming communities in our mountain region by providing resources directly to farmers who are diversifying or expanding their operations. The ultimate goal of WNC … View >>

2022 AgOptions Grant Cycle

Although the 2021 grant cycle has just gotten underway, we are busy planning the details for next year. Please check back periodically for information about how to apply for 2022 — applications are usually released in late summer/early fall. In … View >>

2021 Recipient: SKYe2Farm

Charles King, SKYe2 Farm Electricity to Drying Container and Greenhouse Grant Award: $6,000 To help meet growing demand for its high revenue-producing dried hemp, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, hops and seed, and to increase production of cut flowers and vegetable crops, … View >>

2021 Recipient: Black Trumpet Farm

Gwendolyn Casebeer and Jay Englebach, Black Trumpet Farm Increased Efficiency and Output in Gourmet Mushroom Production Grant Award: $6,000 Gwen and Jay use organic growing practices to produce 150 pounds per week of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. Demand has consistently … View >>

2021 Recipient: S.D. Morgan Farms

Shannon Morgan, S.D. Morgan Farms Hay Accumulator and Hay Grapple Grant Award: $6,000 To meet the enormous challenge of putting up the more than 5,000 square hay bales Shannon produces each season, he plans to buy a hay accumulator and … View >>

2021 Recipient: Sporadic Farms

David Anderson, Sporadic Farms On Site Cold Storage Building Grant Award: $6,000 David plans to expand and improve the sustainability of his business by building an on-site carport with cold storage. Mushrooms are sensitive to bacterial blooms, so maintaining the … View >>

2021 Recipient: Brothers on Farms

Susan Epps Ward, Brothers on Farms Commercial Equipment/Freeze Dry Equipment Grant Award: $6,000 After COVID-19 negatively impacted her agritourism revenue and sales of shiitake mushrooms, lamb and other products to restaurants, Susan decided to expand her product line to include … View >>

2021 Recipient: D & M Apiaries

Mitch and Darlene Myers, D & M Apiaries Apiary Expansion and Equipment Upgrade Grant Award: $6,000 A 2020 AgOptions grant allowed D&M to expand its stock of mite-resistant Russian honey bees at its main apiary in Cherokee County, prompting Darlene … View >>

2021 Recipient: Mountain Cheesery, LLC

Linda and Perry Carringer, Mountain Cheesery, LLC Milking Room Grant Award: $6,000 The Carringers are constructing a new, larger milking room to help expand their artisan cheese business. Mountain Cheesery recently invested about $65,000 in constructing a cheese room and … View >>

2021 Recipient: McNeilly Enterprises

Julia Austin, McNeilly Enterprises Enhancing Capacity with Multi-purpose Facility Grant Award: $6,000 The owners of McNeilly Enterprises are constructing a 20-foot by 25-foot multipurpose building and purchasing a commercial honey extractor and other equipment and supplies to facilitate processing and … View >>

2021 Recipient: Willis Farms

Rodney Willis, Willis Farms Sorghum Syrup and Cornmeal Process Upgrades Grant Award: $6,000 Rodney and Lynn plan to construct a metal-frame processing building for their sorghum syrup and cornmeal that meets current food safety standards. The processing facility will be … View >>

2021 Recipient: Dugan Farms

John Dugan and David Anderson, Dugan Farms Food Safety Produce Packing Shed Grant Award: $6,000 Dugan Farms currently has no way to meet GAP and other food-safety requirements and there are no packing and washing sheds available to farmers on … View >>

2021 Recipient: Pine Row Farm

Jeff and Terri Phillips, Pine Row Farm Farm Store Grant Award: $6,000 Terri and Jeff are approaching retirement and are working to generate an income from their family farm. To meet increasing demand for their farm-raised beef, pork, chicken and … View >>

2021 Recipient: John Queen Farms

John Queen III, John Queen Farms Hydraulic Squeeze Chute and Digital Scales for Heifer Development Grant Award: $6,000 John runs a stocker operation on his fourth-generation family farm, grazing about 500 head of cattle annually. He plans to purchase a … View >>

2021 Recipient: KT’s Orchard and Apiary

KT, KT’s Orchard and Apiary Apple Sorting and Packing Project: Upgrading Farm Efficiency Grant Award: $6,000 Having already purchased a used apple sorter from a neighboring county’s N.C. Cooperative Extension Center, KT will be converting an existing barn into an … View >>

2021 Recipient: Saturnia Farm

Sarah Coury and Ben Pick, Saturnia Farm Nursery, Flower & Farm Goods Delivery Service Grant Award: $6,000 In spring of 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis was unfolding, Saturnia Farm started a plant delivery service between Waynesville and Asheville. An immediate … View >>