Producers in 15 Central/Southside Virginia counties will be eligible for matching grants this year under a program funded by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.
During its Jan. 10, 2017 meeting in Richmond, the Tobacco Commission approved $400,000 in Agribusiness funding for the Central Virginia Pasture, Crops & Livestock Grant. The Central Virginia Pasture, Crops & Livestock Grant offers producers in a 15-county region an opportunity to apply for a cost share incentive of up to $3,300 per producer.
This project includes the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Franklin, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward.
The grant focuses on pasture conversion/production by providing pasture watering systems; crop/feed storage by providing for grain bins, grain dryers, and hay barns; and livestock management structures such as head gates, squeeze chutes, scales and Calf Catchers. These programs are aimed at enhancing farm profitability with corresponding benefits to the region’s overall economy. Cost share funds will be available to agricultural producers who meet all eligibility requirements.
Robert Spiers, Chairman of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission’s AgriBusiness Committee, said, “Farming has always been a key part of the economy in Central and Southern Virginia. As we work to develop a diverse economy in these areas, it is important that we also support industries, such as agriculture, that have a long history of providing vital jobs and income. This grant is aimed at doing exactly that and I am pleased that the Tobacco Commission approved these funds to help farms remain profitable.”
Producers interested in applying for funding must attend a minimum of one informational/educational session out of eight (8) opportunities offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension prior to applying for funds.
These sessions have been scheduled at the following locations on the dates and times listed below:
Ag Marketing Center, Halifax: May 2 starting at 7 p.m.
Southern Piedmont AREC, Blackstone: May 14 starting at 4 p.m.
Franklin Center, Rocky Mount: May 11 starting at 6 p.m.
Estes Center, 316 Main Street, Chase City: May 18 starting at 3 p.m.
Olde Dominion Building, Chatham: May 18 starting at 9 a.m.
County Annex Building, Lawrenceville: May 10 starting at 6 p.m.
Lynchburg Livestock Market, Lynchburg: May 16 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Prince Edward Extension Office, Farmville: May 25 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Cost share applications will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in the participating counties. Funding is limited and will be provided to producers on a first come, first served basis with special consideration given to producers who have never received a Tobacco Grant. Cost Share Grants under this program will only be awarded on a one-time basis per producer, per family, and/or per farm. For more information on this program, please contact your local extension agent or this office.
The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 31-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 2,036 grants totaling more than $1.1 billion across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has provided $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders. For information on the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and recent grant awards, visit our website at www.tic.virginia.gov or call Jordan Butler at 804-786-7692.