Food and Farming


CFWNC, TRACTOR, The Yancey Fund, fundholders and nonprofits partner to support local food system. TRACTOR is a food hub, located near Burnsville, serving farmers in several WNC counties. Watch the video.

 

Mission:  Support the revitalization of a sustainable local food system in Western North Carolina while preserving our mountain farm heritage. 

Goals:

  • Increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms.
  • Address food insecurity and facilitate nutrition and healthy eating for all.

Strategies: We will make grants to: (1) bolster marketing efforts for local foods including branding, post-harvest aggregation, distribution and value added facilities; (2) support new or transitioning farmers with technical assistance in production and marketing, business training and access to land; (3) increase access to fresh local foods for all, especially low income families, and (4) build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address these goals.  

Grants

  • Bountiful Cities
    Buncombe County
    Amount: $24,650
    Grant Year: 2017
    to support a pilot project of the Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program in Asheville and Buncombe County.  This program provides a $1:$1 match when produce is purchased with SNAP dollars.  

  • Organic Growers School
    WNC Region
    Amount: $25,000
    Grant Year: 2017
    to support programs intended to increase the number of successful beginning and expanding organic farmers in WNC.  Training and support are offered and include practical skills and knowledge gained through farmer-led, farmer-driven and strategically-aligned support services.  

  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
    WNC Region
    Amount: $29,500 and $16,000
    Grant Year: 2017
    to grow the local food economy by expanding the agricultural business incubator for beginning farmers and its hands-on educational workshop series at the Incubator Farm in Alexander, as well as to support WNC FarmLink, a program that works to facilitate strong relationships between farmers looking for land to farm and landowners aspiring to keep their farms and forest land in agriculture.  

  • Southwestern NC RC&D
    Seven westernmost counties of WNC
    Grant Amount: $24,000
    Grant Year: 2017
    for farm assessments to maximize the opportunities now available at the farm level.  Actions may include community college agriculture business classes, an Appalachian Farm School, a Rural Food Business Assistance Project and intensive agriculture workshops.

  • TRACTOR
    Yancey, Mitchell, McDowell, Madison, Avery, Burke and Buncombe counties
    Grant Amount: $49,660
    Grant Year: 2017
    to add a full-time sales position and part-time bookkeeping support.  These two positions will expand TRACTOR’s operational capacity to increase sales channels and actual sales.  

  • McDowell County NC Cooperative Extension
    McDowell County
    Amount: $20,000
    Grant Year: 2017
    To determine the feasibility of a Community Food and Health Hub. The Hub would serve as a central location for MANNA FoodBank to store and distribute products to pantries throughout the county and would provide a variety of services to strengthen the county’s overall food system.

  • Organic Growers School 
    WNC Region
    Amount: $30,000
    Grant Year: 2016
    To support continued implementation or expansion of key farmer training programs serving WNC. Starting in October 2015, OGS will offer the nationally successful Farm Beginnings ® training program in addition to continuing its related programs; WNC Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT), Apprentice Link, Farm Dreams workshops and the 23rd annual OGS Spring Conference. 

  • Southwestern Community College

    Jackson, Swain, Macon, Clay counties
    Amount: $5,500
    Grant Year: 2016
    To support the 2016 Appalachian Farm School program that will provide at least 20 new or existing farmers with training and support to make their agribusiness successful. Participation in the course will connect part-time farmers with local resources, including NC Cooperative Extension, NC Department of Agriculture, Farm Bureau and others, for assistance with regulations, production, marketing and financing family farm-based businesses. 

  • Yancey County 
    Amount: $39,500
    Grant Year: 2016 

    To support a community effort to develop a comprehensive foodshed action plan. Yancey County is uniquely positioned to test how CFWNC’s Food and Farming approach might contribute to lasting community improvement. Several pieces of a county-wide foodshed strategy are already in place, but a holistic approach is needed to develop plans that have the broad community support necessary for implementation.

  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    WNC Region
    Amount: $45,000
    Grant Year: 2016
    To help farmers develop personalized marketing relationships by “telling the farm story.” Over the past 10 years, ASAP has developed the Appalachian Grown (AG) brand now familiar in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, restaurants and other food outlets to identify authentic local agricultural products throughout the region’s food system. 
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy 
    WNC Region
    Amount: $30,000
    Grant Year: 2016
    To continue development of its agricultural incubator that provides land, equipment, support and training for beginning and limited resource farmers. The farm incubator, located at SAHC’s 100-acre farm in Alexander, operates two agricultural businesses: Second Spring Market Gardens (marketing greens and other cold-hardy vegetables year round) and Piney Woods Farm (featuring a heritage breed of cattle that forage on underutilized pastureland).  
  • MANNA FoodBank
    WNC Region
    Amount: $29,000
    Grant Year: 2015
    For the Network Capacity Improvement Project that helps partner agencies in rural communities increase their ability to distribute healthy food to people in need in WNC.  The program has successfully engaged partner agencies in training and technical support across 16 counties.  Feeding America, a national network of food banks, has asked MANNA to share results and best practices to other partners and other Feeding America food banks.
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
    WNC Region
    Amount: $34,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    For its Incubator Farm, launched in 2014, that serves beginning and limited resources farmers.  The USDA awarded $100,000 in part to support continued growth and to develop a region-wide Farmers Training Program in coordination with the Organic Growers School (see below) and WNC Farmlink.  CFWNC funds will purchase equipment and provide infrastructure.
    Learn More
  • Organic Growers School
    WNC Region
    Amount: $15,000
    Grant Year: 2015
    To support development of a comprehensive, regionally-informed farmer training curriculum tailored to maximize economic possibilities for WNC farmers.  
    Learn More
  • Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council
    Clay, Cherokee, Graham and other far west counties
    Amount: $22,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    To support the introduction of "high tunnel" production for family farms.  
    Learn More
  • Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional (TRACTOR)
    Mitchell and Yancey counties
    Amount: $20,000
    Grant Year: 2015
    To secure new markets and expand its core group of larger growers to increase the volume of produce aggregated and distributed through the Burnsville food hub.
    Learn More
  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    WNC Region
    Amount: $7,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    For financial sustainability planning to strengthen the long-term capacity of the organization to continue to support to farmers and build the local food system. 

  • Organic Growers School
    WNC Region
    Amount: $7,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    To improve branding and the funding capacity of an organization inspiring, educating and supporting people to farm, garden and live organically.

  • WNC Communities
    WNC Region
    Amount: $25,000
    Grant Year: 2015
    To transition Blue Ridge Food Ventures (BRFV) from AdvantageWest to WNC Communities. For more than ten years, BRFV has supported food entrepreneurship in WNC, helping 250 clients produce food and natural products totaling $10.5 million in sales. Funding will ensure continuation of BRFV operations after July 1, 2015, including expanding the successful co-pack program and securing additional funding for operational sustainability. 

     

  • Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council
    WNC Region
    Amount: $4,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    To research and define a grazing strategy for reclaiming and regenerating mountain pastureland.
    Learn More

  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP)
    WNC Region 
    Amount: $47,000 
    Grant Year: 2015 
    For Filling the Distribution Gap: Using Appalachian Grown to Connect Farmers and Distributors  
    Learn More
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy 
    WNC Region
    Amount: $16,500
    Grant Year: 2015
    For operating expenses for the WNC FarmLink program, which links new and expanding farmers to available farmland. WNC FarmLink is a regional effort to address the challenges of aging farm owners and growing demand for land by people who want to farm, many of whom have limited access to land or capital for equipment and start-up expenses.
    Learn More
  • Macon County Public Health Department for MountainWise Partnership
    Cherokee, Clay, Macon, Graham, Swain, Jackson, Haywood and Transylvania counties (NC Public Health Region 1)
    Amount: $30,000
    Grant Year: 2014
    For the Healthy Corner Market effort to improve nutrition by making healthier foods and beverages available in convenience stores in rural areas
    Learn More
  • Mayland Community College Foundation
    Spruce Pine/Mitchell County
    Amount: $12,324
    Grant Year: 2014
    For the Mayland Berkshire Project, a pilot pig farming program for high school students in Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties.
  • AdvantageWest Economic Development Group
    Fletcher/Henderson County
    Amount: $20,000
    Grant Year: 2014
    To implement and maintain a contract packing program at Blue Ridge Food Ventures on the A-B Tech campus in Enka. A contract packer, or co-packer, manufactures and packages foods or other products for clients, according to their recipes and guidelines, allowing them to shift staff and resources from production to other key business functions.
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $25,500
    Grant Year: 2014
    To help create the first WNC agricultural business incubator for beginning and limited resource farmers.
  • Southwestern Commission
    Sylva/Jackson County
    Amount: $25,000
    Grant Year: 2014
    To complete a Master Plan for the WNC Farmers Market. CFWNC funding will help match a $50,000 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission. An updated plan for services and facilities will benefit 1000 WNC farmers and agricultural producers.
  • MANNA FoodBank
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $50,000
    Grant Year: 2013
    To build the capacity of MANNA's 16-county food distribution network. The grant funds will be used to train network volunteers, provide customized technical assistance to partners and assist local food pantries in implementing best practices.
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $10,000
    Grant Year: 2013
    For operating expenses for a recently funded Farmland Access Service coordinator who will link landless farmers to farmland in Western North Carolina. AgriVentures, a joint undertaking by the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group and Land-of-Sky Regional Council, has committed to pay the salary of the part-time staff member for three years.
  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $35,000
    Grant Year: 2013
    To support a major expansion of ASAP's Appalachian Grown regional food branding and certification program. Appalachian Grown labels and promotes locally-grown farm products in the marketplace to enable consumers to easily identify and act on their desire to support local food and farmers.
  • Land-of-Sky Regional Council/WNC AgriVentures
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $75,000
    Grant Year: 2012
    CFWNC committed $75,000 in matching funds over 3 years to AgriVentures, which received $815,000 from the USDA Rural Jobs Accelerator Program. AdvantageWest and Land-of-Sky Regional Council are leading the project that features strategies for “Growing our Agricultural Sector” including regional approaches to local food system and value-added products especially in rural countries.
  • Mitchell County - Bakersville/Mitchell County
    Amount: $25,000
    Grant Year: 2012
    For TRACTOR Food Hub Project's purchase of shared farm field equipment for new/transitioning farmers in Mitchell and Yancey counties. Co-funded by The Fund for Mitchell County and The Yancey Fund.
  • UNC Asheville Foundation
    Asheville/Buncombe County
    Amount: $22,200
    Grant Year: 2012
    For a Farm-to-School project engaging 5 Haywood County Schools with ASAP and UNC Asheville Center for Health and Wellness. Co-funded by Fund for Haywood County.
  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
    Pittsboro/outside WNC
    Amount: $25,855
    Grant Year: 2012
    For start-up staffing for Carolina Ground to mill NC grains for WNC bakeries and restaurants.

To learn more about our Food and Farming focus area, please contact:

Tara Scholtz
Senior Program Officer
828-367-9913
Email

CFWNC recently approved a 2016 Food and Farming grant to Yancey County for $39,500 to support a community effort to develop a comprehensive foodshed action plan.  In the past few years, several agricultural projects have been implemented in Yancey County (including the TRACTOR food hub, Yancey Farmer’s Market, Dig In! Community Garden and the Toe River Food Security Network) with support from CFWNC and other funders. A Community Foodshed Assessment will be completed in the next few months, and several studies of farmland and agricultural activity have been completed by ASAP and others.  Yancey County is uniquely positioned to test how CFWNC’s Food and Farming approach might contribute to lasting community improvement.  The grant will fund the next step: a facilitated civic engagement approach to develop a comprehensive action plan with broad community support. The funds will be used for facilitation and coordination of assessment data, technical assistance and research visits to successful food hubs and similar community projects. 

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