Cover photo for Western North Carolina Agricultural Options Program

Western North Carolina Agricultural Options Program (AgOptions)

North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission

Closed November 18, 2022


Mission of WNC AgOptions: Building sustainable farming communities in our mountain region by providing resources directly to farmers who are diversifying or expanding their operations.

The ultimate goal of WNC AgOptions is to protect mountain farmland by assisting the longevity of farm enterprises and encouraging groups of farmers to solve logistical challenges in the local agricultural system.


Applicants are residents of North Carolina who demonstrate the economic viability of farms in Western North Carolina. Support is provided to individual farmers/farms that are diversifying or expanding their operations to increase farm income and encourage the sustainability of the farm businesses. The farm must be one in which the family holds the financial responsibility, takes the risks, and provides the majority of the management decisions for the farm business. WNC AgOptions awards grants to a variety of farm operations, including: fruits & vegetables, livestock, nurseries, agritourism, beekeeping and value-added processing. While agriculture is a varied and diverse industry that can be defined in many ways, WNC AgOptions favors applicants who operate a business and manage land for the purpose of producing crops for harvest and sale. Any funding requests should be for items directly related to the growing and harvesting of crops for sale, including livestock. WNC AgOptions also favors agritourism operations that are for the purpose of inviting the public on farm to increase sales of farm products.


Suitable expenses are those associated with the production and marketing of diversified farm enterprises and agri-tourism endeavors. Examples include, but are not limited to: seeds, fertilizer, plants, amendments, livestock, trainings, advertisements, packaging, fences, signage, facilities, supplies, tools and specialized equipment. Items that cannot be funded by the award include: farmer labor, pre-existing farm debt, and expenses that are dated outside of the grant period.

Funds must be used as stated in the applicant’s proposal. Use of funds inconsistent with the proposal will result in forfeiture of award and repayment of funds.

WNC AgOptions will provide cash awards to projects with budgets that are at least 10% higher than the amount of the award request. An award request of $4,000 would require a project budget of at least $4,400 and a $8,000 award request would require a budget of at least $8,800.

The $6,000 awards are only available for farmers who write a business plan for their project.


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Release Date

September 1, 2022


November 18, 2022


North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission

Financial Instrument

Grant, Cost Share

Minimum Award Amount


Maximum Award Amount


Image Credit


Updated November 11, 2022

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