The WNC Agricultural Options program recently awarded six community groups and 47 farmers grants totaling $326,000 to assist them in farm diversification and joint marketing and distribution efforts. Mary Ann Thompson, an EBCI tribal member from the Big Cove Community, was among those receiving a grant.
“I am thankful to the Cooperative Extension Program for their work on the Qualla Boundary,” said Thompson. “They work with farmers, 4-H youth, greenways, native plants, operate the cannery, community clubs and so much more.”
Since 2003, N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has supported WNC AgOptions, a N.C. Cooperative Extension program that provides resources directly to farmers diversifying or expanding their operations.
“We have been a strong supporter of the WNC AgOptions program because we know western farmers appreciate the funding and know how to put it into action,” said Bill Teague, N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission acting chairman. “These farmers have a wide variety of innovative ideas and we expect successful outcomes from which other farmers can learn.”
– Source: WNC AgOptions and One Feather staff reports