If you have an innovative project that will assist rural communities, stimulate economic development and increase farm income, then grant funds may be available from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to assist you.
NCTTFC in Raleigh has announced its next grant cycle and is accepting applications until March 5, 2012. Project winners will be announced September 2012.
"Grant ideas that target job creation in former/current tobacco-dependent regions, assist former/current tobacco farmers, or have the potential to generate additional income for farming sectors will be given top priority," says William H. "Bill" Teague, NCTTFC Chairman. "The Commission currently serves hundreds of thousands of people through the more than 50 grants we fund across the state, and we hope to put about $2 million into a variety of new projects."
Some of the previous and current grants include farmers' market renovations, alternative crop research, agricultural marketing campaigns and assistance for unemployed workers to improve job skills.
NCTTFC notes current supported projects include programs to decrease farm energy costs, build new facilities for livestock marketing, enhance local foods campaigns and develop markets for value-added food producers. One thing the projects all have in common is a desire to enhance the state's farm economy.
The Commission's funding comes from monies paid by cigarette manufacturers as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement which are passed through the state's general operating budget. The Commission was established in 2000 by the N.C. General Assembly to help members of the tobacco community – including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses – lessen the impact of declining tobacco production.
Grant application and guidelines can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919-733-2160.
There are also additional educational resources at the website, which can help readers learn more about Commission activities and efforts. There are links to news stories and supplemental grant information, and a link to the Commission's "News to Use" newsletter at the site.