The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, administered by N.C. MarketReady, recently selected eight agricultural producers and four agricultural processors to receive supplemental funding for value-added equipment purchases.
“This cycle of funding was highly competitive,” according to Brittany Whitmire, program coordinator for NCVACS. The total amount awarded was $167,774, ranging from $475 to $50,000. Recipients are located across the state and are involved in a wide range of value-added agricultural enterprises. A few examples include cost share funds to support expansion of cheese-making facilities, adding a smoker to a meat processing business and expanding a forest products operation.
The NCVACS program, funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, directly supports the development of North Carolina value-added agricultural operations. A value-added agricultural product is a raw, agricultural commodity that has been changed in some manner so that it no longer can be returned to its original state. This change results in increased market value, allowing the producer to receive a higher price for these value-added products compared to the original commodity.
The program’s investment of $167,774 will result in equipment purchases valued at more than $500,000. The value-added operations receiving cost share funds will be able to improve efficiencies and increase production with the addition of specialized equipment. The cost share program, which launched in 2009, has provided more than $749,460 in direct cost share assistance to value-added producers and processors throughout North Carolina.
Another cost share cycle will open in spring 2012. Updated guidelines and applications will be available online at https://plantsforhumanhealth.ncsu.edu/extension/cost-share in January. The 2011 NCVACS award recipients are listed below. See profiles of previous award recipients.
NCVACS is coordinated by N.C. MarketReady, the Cooperative Extension outreach of the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute, located at the N.C. Research Campus.
- Richard Huettman, Acre Station Meat Farm, Pinetown, N.C. – Scale and camera to provide feedback on hog carcasses to producers in order to improve consistency and quality in production
- Jennifer Perkins, Looking Glass Creamery, Fairview, N.C. – Small batch candy making equipment for a shelf-stable milk product called Carmelita
- John & Joni Wavra, Ty-Lyn Plantation, Cullowhee, N.C. – Pneumatic shearer for wreath making
- Jody Thompson, Wells, Jenkins, Wells Fresh Meats, Forest City, N.C. – Smoker for meats and meat products; sausage stuffing machine
- Roger Ball, Ball Berries & Produce, Raleigh, N.C. – Pecan cracker, sheller, cleaner
- Portia McKnight, Chapel Hill Creamery, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Updated components for pasteurizer, Camembert system and refrigerator cube for handling and delivery of cheeses
- Darrell Wright, Franklinville, N.C. – Pasteurizer, butter machine and ice cream maker
- Ann and Casey Campbell, Janice Lindley; Lindley Farms, Snow Camp, N.C. – Vat pasteurizer for dairy to make cheesecakes
- Carl Evans, Mountain Harvest Organics, Hot Springs, N.C. – Sawmill and tools for timber framing
- Sally Eason, Sunburst Trout Company, Canton, N.C. – Expanded smoker capacity for trout products and sausage stuffer for jerky
- Bobby Tucker, Tucker Family Farm/Okfuskee Farm, Siler City, N.C. – Pea/bean sheller
- Bruce DeGroot, Yellow Branch Cheese, Robbinsville, N.C. – Curd knives and walk-in aging space for expanded cheese production
Writer: Megan Bame