STATESVILLE, N.C. – In 2014, Carolina Farm Credit established the Corporate Mission Fund to provide grants to local, non-profit agriculture-related organizations and scholarships to NC college agriculture students. 2019 marks the fifth year the Association has awarded these grants. Nearly 150 grant applications were received for the program in 2019, and awards were granted in the fourth quarter. $146,000 was awarded to 25 local organizations and 12 college students.
The Association will begin advertising again for this grant program early in January, 2020 and will hold a luncheon for all grant recipients in May, 2020.
“Our Corporate Mission Fund allows us an opportunity to support grass roots organizations that are making a difference in their rural communities. We are also thrilled to be able to support these college students furthering their education with the scholarships.” Vance Dalton, CEO, Carolina Farm Credit
The 25 organizations that received funding were:
- Partnership for a Sustainable Community – Carrboro Farmers’ Market (Orange County) – The grant will be used to fund various children’s programs hosted at the farmers’ market. This will include weekly children’s activities that emphasize healthy eating, sustainable living, and local agriculture, cooking classes for children, and monthly chef demos for children and market vendors.
- New River Soil and Water Conservation District (Ashe County) – Their grant will allow for the purchase of a no-till seed drill. The seed drill will be rented out to local landowners who are turning their crop fields back into pasture and hay land, supporting improved soil health and less erosion.
- Back in the Woods Again (Chatham County) – This organization seeks to provide a safe hunting environment to wheelchair bound individuals, children with disabilities, and other individuals that could not otherwise hunt. Grant funds will help the group host their annual disabled hunter’s event, by providing lodging, meals, and gear to hunters.
- Yadkin County Rescue Squad (Yadkin County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a rescue ATV and stretcher trailer to replace an older unit that they’ve had for 20 years. The ATV can be used to access remote areas of farmland and wilderness. Additionally, the stretcher ATV trailer allows for better transport of injured patients.
- Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department (Wilkes County) – Their grant will fund the purchase of a rescue stabilization kit. This kit will enable them to lift, raise and stabilize vehicles, farm equipment, and heavy machinery at incidents where they may be overturned and allow rescuers to safely remove a patient that is trapped.
- Randolph County Soil and Water Conservation District (Randolph County) – Their grant funds will be used to purchase a no-till seed drill to be used within their district. The drill will be rented to farmers and landowners to help seed pastures, food plots for wildlife, or any purpose to help conserve natural resources by not tilling the soil.
- North American Truffle Growers Association (NATGA) (Henderson County) – Grant funds will be used for truffle research in North Carolina. The purpose of this project is to select and evaluate alternative truffle host tree species that are better suited to our NC environment, and to determine which are superior to current host species for the growing industry in NC.
- Iredell and Rowan County Cooperative Extension (Rowan County) –Their grant funds will be used to purchase small livestock working equipment mainly for goats and sheep. This portable facility would allow small ruminant producers to have access to equipment to implement better herd management year round. Rowan and Iredell Extension agents can use this equipment for small ruminant field days, on farm trainings and certifications, and other educational opportunities.
- Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group (Caswell County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase a pea and bean sheller. This will enable local small scale farmers the ability to effortlessly shell peas and beans in a fraction of the time typically suggested adding value to their crops as a whole.
- Cherokee County School System – Murphy High School (Cherokee County) – Grant funds will be used to fund the school garden project and new beekeeping program. The money will help purchase the seeds, hives, bee suits, and an extractor, along with many other necessary tools. This will allow the school to continue building on their “Farm to Table” mission in their agriculture and family and consumer science classrooms.
- Sandhills Farmers Cooperative (Moore County) – The mission of this organization is to help farms remain viable so that the next generation of farmers can make a sustainable living. The SFC is addressing this objective through a buyer education campaign to educate local chefs and institutions about the types of products that are grown or produced in the Sandhills region and how products can be easily ordered to fill customer requests. Grand funds will be used to print and distribute an annual calendar to teach buyers what produce is in season and to teach both farmers and buyers about how to utilize a marketing website established to sell seasonal products.
- Veterans Healing Farm (Henderson County) – Their grant will be used to purchase and install an outdoor playset for children of veterans attending workshops and other farm events. The farm is a family-friendly setting, so some veterans and other community members bring their children to these events. A playset will help ensure that children have something fun and healthy to do while their parents are working in the garden or receiving training.
- NC Rural Center – Homegrown Leaders (Buncombe County) – Grant funds will support the Homegrown Leaders program, a regional leadership training program for rural leaders in western NC. The program trains existing and emerging leaders who are committed to enhancing collaboration across rural multi-county regions.
- Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas (Gaston County) – Grant funds will be used to fund surveying and agricultural data collection for the Charlotte Regional Food System Map Project (the MAP). This program seeks to promote the visibility and accessibility of the area’s farms, farmers’ markets, community gardens, local food retail/farm to table restaurants, food access resources, nutrition education, volunteer opportunities, wholesale and distribution infrastructure & public transportation.
- The Patterson School Foundation (Caldwell County) – This grant will be used to purchase a refrigerator and oven for the organization’s commercial community kitchen. For the past 3 years, this kitchen has been leased out to a roster of area chefs and farmers in need of commercial kitchen access at an affordable rate. This has allowed farmers to create value-added products in addition to allowing their farm-to-table caterers and producers to start food businesses without going deep into debt.
- Agribusiness Henderson County (Henderson County) – Agribusiness Henderson County works to garner ongoing support for agriculture from the county government and the general public, by strategically showing its economic benefit and value. Their grant funds will be used to fund agricultural economic research for Henderson County.
- Central Carolina Holstein Association (Orange County) – Grant funds will be used to complete repairs to the county livestock show barn, including repairing the exterior of the building, interior painting and trim repair, and replacement of barn curtains in the exterior portion of the barn. These improvements are necessary to accommodate future needs of the CCHA and facility users such as the Central Piedmont Junior Livestock Show and Sale (CPJLS). This facility has served the agricultural community since 1965 for CCHA shows and sales, private community events, and the CPJLS.
- Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (Durham County) – This organization hosts one 6-week gardening class and quarterly garden workshops. This grant would allow them to install a covered area for protection from the elements during classes and workshops. This will allow them to increase community engagement and nutrition education by hosting seasonal meals and cooking demonstrations using produce harvested on site. Outdoor cooking equipment and some modifications to their outdoor kitchen space will make this possible. Also, some funds will go towards additional staff to further develop and implement their educational offerings.
- Ansonville Elementary School (Anson County) – This school has recently implemented new outdoor programs to involve the students in gardening. The grant funds will be used to purchase gardening equipment for the elementary school.
- Wilkes Community College – Horticulture Program (Wilkes County) – This grant will be used to host the college’s first annual Ag Awareness Day. The purpose of the Ag Awareness day is to increase awareness of Wilkes Community College agriculture programs (Animal Science and Horticulture). The event will showcase the programs and other post-secondary opportunities available to WCC students.
- Our Communities of Northwest Stokes Foundation (Stokes County) – Grant funds will be used to fund farmers’ market structure repairs and improvements to protect vendors’ products, the vendors, and their customers from the elements. New signage and other marketing tools will also be funded to direct local customers to the market site.
- Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association of Burke County (Burke County) – Grant funds will be used to purchase educational materials, seeds, plants, tools, beehives, animals, and other necessary equipment to promote beginning agricultural education for high school and college students and adults in Burke County. This will help the organization maintain their existing community garden, and establish several new gardens in the area.
- Gaston County Beekeepers Association (Gaston County) – Grant funds will be used to improve the organization’s new honey extraction facility. This will allow members to have a clean environment to extract and bottle their honey and honey products.
- Eastlawn Elementary School (Alamance County) – Grant funds will be used to enhance their outdoor classroom by building a kid-friendly outdoor kitchen. This new area would be used to wash, cut, and prepare the produce that is harvested from the school garden.
- Isothermal Community College (Rutherford County) – This school is finishing construction on a new greenhouse and barn. Grant funds will be used to complete this project and install horse stalls in the barn, as well as purchase materials to install fencing around the barn.
The recipients of the 2019-2020 N.C. A&T State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: William James, Quontaza Bowden, Abby Lamb, and Connor Vick.
The recipients of the 2019-2020 NC State University – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Levi Ramsey, Jason Koopman, Melanie Fishel, and Rebecca Pierce.
The recipients of the 2019-2020 University of Mount Olive – Carolina Farm Credit Scholarships are: Austin Rash, Luke Johnson, Sarah Spicer, and Dacianna Grubert.
For more information about scholarships, please visit carolinafarmcredit.com.
Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and also provides financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 30 branch offices. Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.
For more than 100 years Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.
Carolina Farm Credit serves over 10,500 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.6 billion. The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.
Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are W. Rex Bell, Chairman, Statesville, David M. Coltrane, Vice-Chairman, Pleasant Garden; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; Leslie G. Sparks, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Thomas E. Porter, Jr., Concord; Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; Vickie N. Smitherman, East Bend; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.
–Carolina Farm Credit