RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (N.C. TTFC) awarded more than $1.5 million through 15 grants for agricultural and economic initiatives across the state. The grants place a high priority on projects to stimulate the agricultural economy and that help farmers execute innovative ideas.
“Farmers across the state will benefit from these grant projects.” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. TTFC. “In 2020, our Commission has been able to fund a diverse array of projects that will benefit farmers producing produce, livestock, row crops and other commodities in North Carolina.”
The $1.5 million supports projects that assist farmers with facility enhancements, research and educational opportunities. These projects assist with innovative on-farm projects, increase leadership skills and offer operational strategies that will help farmers increase farm income. One project is with the N. C. Agricultural Foundation to study beneficial bacteria in hemp. Another project partners with the Town of Louisburg to build kitchen space for food trucks and other food service companies.
In addition to the grants awarded, the N.C. TTFC renewed their partnership with the University of Mount Olive – AgPrime to provide small grants directly to on-farm projects that support increasing farm profitability.
The N.C. General Assembly created the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to lessen the financial impact to farmers and tobacco-related businesses caused by the sharp decline of tobacco in the agricultural economy. The commission’s original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Its current funding comes from a set appropriation of funds. Since 2002, the N.C. TTF has awarded more than 380 grants to public and nonprofit agencies that meet the goals of strengthening the rural and tobacco-dependent economies of North Carolina.
For more information and a list of grant recipients, visit the N.C. TTFC website at www.tobaccotrustfund.org.
–Jeff Camde, N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission