FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCT. 15, 2009
Scott Bissette, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
N.C. organizations win specialty-crop marketing grants
RALEIGH — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today announced that 20 North Carolina organizations have been awarded grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the marketplace.
More than $1 million will be granted for 28 projects that benefit North Carolina’s specialty crops industry as a whole. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass and sod, and nursery and greenhouse crops.
The program, managed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program established by the 2008 farm bill.
Grant proposals ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 were submitted by non-profit organizations and corporations, commodity associations, state and local governments, and colleges and universities. Committees made up of representatives of a variety of agricultural and marketing groups in North Carolina made the grant decisions.
“There were many worthy projects, and the competition for funds was intense,” Troxler said. “The 28 selected projects should help North Carolina farmers grow more profitable crops, which in turn can help them stay on their farms.”
Following are the grant recipients; numbers in parentheses denote the number of grants an organization received: N.C. State University (seven), N.C. A&T State University, Surry County Government, NCDA&CS (three), N.C. Christmas Tree Association, N.C. SweetPotato Commission, N.C. SweetPotato Commission Foundation Inc., Orange County Cooperative Extension and Economic Development, Johnston County Nurserymen Marketing Association, Madison County Government, N.C. Green Industry Council, N.C. Strawberry Association Inc., N.C. Vegetable Growers Association, N.C. Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, N.C. Watermelon Association, N.C. Commercial Flower Growers Association, N.C. Potato Association, Operation Spring Plant Inc., N.C. Nursery and Landscape Association, N.C. Sod Producers Association.