MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCT) The Golden LEAF Foundation held an agriculture roundtable at the University of Mount Olive’s student farm to highlight the state’s agribusiness and farming industries.

The event focused on programs supported by the Foundation that help expand markets for farmers and offer training to students interested in these fields.

“North Carolina is an agribusiness powerhouse,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “Golden LEAF is committed to helping grow the industry through education and training programs and by supporting programs that boost the sales of agriculture products. We were excited to hear from partners doing the work to support this vital industry.”

Golden LEAF has provided four grants totaling $418,903 for agriculture programs at the University of Mount Olive.

Early grants supported the university’s Agribusiness Institute which helps farmers, agribusiness, and students

“The funding provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation was instrumental,” said Dr. Sandy Maddox, director of the university’s Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center. “This Golden LEAF project has created a unique experiential learning environment for UMO agriculture and biology students and the greater agricultural community. The impact of this project will be long-lasting as we continue to prepare students for careers in a diversified and emerging agricultural industry.”

One regional early college high school has built its reputation on showcasing careers in agribusiness and agriscience to its students.

At the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience in Jamesville, students in Martin, Pitt, Tyrrell, and Washington counties have rigorous graduation requirements that include a 130-hour internship, an applied agriculture project, and participation in Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Golden LEAF has provided two grants totaling more than $350,000 to the school for technology and technology support.