University of Mount Olive receives $692,000 for AgPrime Program

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MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCT) This week The University of Mount Olive received $692,000 for its AgPrime program.

Since the program started in 2016, 70 projects have been funded throughout 33 qualifying counties. Over a dozen are right here in our area.

AgPrime is made possible through a partnership with the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

It’s a cost-share program designed to offer innovative agricultural producers or agribusinesses assistance in Implementing farm diversification and expansion strategies which increase economic stability and sustainability here in our area.

“…and being in Eastern North Carolina we have experienced a lot of instability in our agricultural communities with the loss of tobacco. I think what the Tobacco Trust Fund wants to do is supplement that lost income by giving the opportunity of diversification,” said Dr. Sandy Maddox, Dean, School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at The University of Mount Olive.

Each qualified AgPrime recipient can receive up to $10,000 cost-share dollars with a 10% match required.

Each project will be funded based on its potential to positively benefit the economic development of its local community, farm profitability, and skill and resource development for current and future farmers.

Examples of funded projects have included:

  • Agritourism ventures
  • Processing for vegetable specialty crops
  • Roadside stands and other support for marketing produce
  • Farm diversification
  • Livestock management
  • Cheese-making
  • Improved conservation measures
  • Cold storage
  • Season extension projects.

“We all know in order to stay in any business you have to adapt to change and you have to be willing to try new things but that’s hard when you are limited on the cash flow or limited on the cash needed to make those adjustments this is just the push some farmers needs,” said Edward Olive, Director, Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at The University of Mount Olive.

Program leaders tell 9 On Your Side the following counties will be encouraged to submit applications: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Gates, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Robeson, Richmond, Scotland, Tyrrell, and Washington.

For more information on AgPrime contact Edward Olive at eolive@umo.edu or Dr. Sandy Maddox at smaddox@umo.edu.

Applications will be accepted beginning in November of 2020 until December 2020.

The application can be found HERE.

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