Tobacco Trust Fund seeking grant proposals
The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is issuing a call for proposals for projects that support the agricultural economy in North Carolina, especially in areas affected by the tobacco buyout.
The commission is looking for projects that match its focus in any of five areas: diversification initiatives, natural resource and farmland preservation, skill and resource development, increasing farm profitability and community economic development. The maximum grant amount available in the 2007 grant cycle will be $300,000. Priority will be given to projects based on the size of area and number of people affected.
“The rural economy in North Carolina continues to adjust and redevelop in a post-tobacco buyout era,” said Billy Carter, TTFC chairman. “The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission will continue, with this grant cycle, in helping members of our agricultural family address these needs.”
The commission awards grants to public and nonprofit agencies developing programs to lessen unemployment and stabilize local tobacco-dependent economies and tax bases. Grant applications are available online at www.tobaccotrustfund.org and are due Aug.1. The commission should announce grant recipients by the end of October.
The General Assembly created the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to help soften the financial impact to farmers and tobacco-related businesses caused by the sharp decline of tobacco in the agricultural economy. The commission’s funding comes from monies paid by cigarette manufacturers under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. Technical assistance in completing the 2007 application is available by calling commission staff at (919) 733-2160, or by e-mail at email@example.com.