The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share program this week announced the recipients of its 2012 equipment cost share awards.
A grape smoothie is just one of many products with powerful potential, thanks to a CALS partnership with muscadine growers.
N.C. State University’s North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program provided more than $100,000 in matching funds to help N.C. agricultural producers apply for and secure nearly $1.2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants. The USDA last week announced the recipients of its Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG), eight of which are N.C. businesses that were assisted by NCVACS.
Economic development was in the air, as Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center was dedicated in October. After years of planning, the Orange County facility opened its doors, giving small food producers access to space and equipment they need to develop their small businesses.
North Carolina is the leading state when it comes to producing both sweet potatoes and tobacco, and a new N.C. State University research project is designed to build on both strengths to create new markets for farmers. The Sweet Potato Dehydration Project is exploring ways to use tobacco-curing barns to dry sweet potatoes for use in pet food and animal feed.
On Aug. 2, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced a package of programs, the Family Farm Innovation Fund, to help North Carolina farmers rebound from the recession.