RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC) awarded more than $3.4 million through 22 grants fo agricultural and economic initiatives across the state. The grants place a high priority on projects that address ways to train people for new careers, stimulate the agricultural economy and help farmers with innovative ideas.
“Our Commission is dedicated to funding projects that will benefit farmers and their communities across the state,” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the NCTTFC. “In 2019 we were able to fund a diverse array of projects that will benefit a wide section of North Carolina agriculture.”
The $3.4 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 insect and mite management in hemp. Another project partners with the N.C. Agromedicine Institute to educate producers about managing their response to farm stress.
In addition to the grants awarded, the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission renewed their partnerships with the AgPrime and AgVentures 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 NCTTF has awarded more than 360 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 NC TTFC website at www.tobaccotrustfund.org.
–Jeff Camden, N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission