Agricultural Reinvestment Fund

Grants to North Carolina Farmers and Groups
to Expand Products, Services, and Markets

GrantWatch ID#: 164669
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)


01/05/17 5:00 PM Receipt

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Grants of up to $10,000 to North Carolina individual farmers and agricultural collaboratives to expand sources of income through agricultural businesses. Proposals will be considered for innovative, replicable on-farm enterprises.

The Fund supports projects that:
-Demonstrate an ability to generate new farm income;
-Establish new markets for local products and services;
-Develop new uses for existing greenhouses, tobacco facilities and equipment;
-Add value to existing farm products by processing, packaging or marketing in a special or innovative way;
-Maintain or create quality employment opportunities, including self-employment or opportunities for home-based businesses; or
-Make optimal use of on-farm and natural resources.

Suitable expenses are those associated with the production and marketing of diversified farm enterprises and agritourism endeavors. Examples include, but are not limited to: seeds, fertilizer, plants, amendments, livestock equipment, trainings, advertisements, packaging, fences, signage, facilities, supplies, tools and specialized equipment. Funds should be used as stated in the applicant’s proposal. Use of funds inconsistent with the proposal will result in grant forfeiture and repayment.

Outreach Requirement: Farmers and communities who are awarded grants are required to conduct outreach to educate others about their projects. This can be done by hosting farm tours or field days, having articles written about the project, or making presentations at a farm or community meeting. RAFI staff will help grant recipients with outreach upon request but it is the recipient’s responsibility to plan and schedule outreach events.

Collaborators: Collaborators are not required but may increase the likelihood of success for your project. Collaborators may include other farmers, marketing and production specialists, extension agents, crop consultants, nonprofit organizations, business and other agricultural advisors. The best collaborators bring needed expertise to the project and have a clear role in helping the project succeed.

The Fund currently awards at least 20 grants per year.

-Individual Farmers: Up to $8,000
-Collaborative Projects: up to $10,000

Projects should be at or near completion by December 31, 2017.

Grants will be made to farmers and collaborative groups in eligible areas.

Farmer Eligibility:

-Farmers must earn a significant amount of their personal income from their farm operation.
-Applicant must operate a farm within one of the eligible counties.
-Farmers must be at least one year into production on their farm operation.
-Past grantees who have received a grant from RAFI or the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission are not eligible to apply.
-Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate a way to replace lost tobacco income.
-High priority will be given to innovative projects that show a new direction or opportunity for NC farmers.

Collaborative Project Eligibility:

-A collaborative farmer project may be proposed by a group of farmers, farm co-ops, farmer associations, churches, local businesses, civic organizations or combinations of these. Proposed collaborative projects must include at least three eligible farmers who are active in the leadership of the project.


-Grant funds can be used to offset costs for specialized equipment; retrofitting and adaptation of existing equipment; supply needs; outreach expenses; new marketing, handling or processing operations; labor for contractors, employees.

-Grant funds cannot be used for purchase of livestock; new, general-use farm equipment.

Important Dates:
-Final application deadline: January 5th, 2017 (5:00 PM)
-Award notification no later than February 28th, 2017
-Applicants are encouraged to apply early to receive feedback before the final deadline.

RAFI 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 $8,000 (for an individual farmer) would require a project budget of at least $8,800. A $10,000 award request (for a collaborative group) would require a budget of at least $11,000.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to receive feedback before the final deadline.

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Ben Paynter, Project Coordinator

Mailing Address:
PO Box 640
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Physical Address:
274 Pittsboro Elem School Rd
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Applicants must be located in the following North Carolina Counties: Alamance, Randolph, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Person, Orange, Durham, Franklin, Caswell, Vance, Granville, Warren, Halifax, Bertie, Northampton, Chowan, and Hertford.

See the full text of this grant

USA: North Carolina

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