The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, administered by North Carolina State University, is seeking potential candidates for its 2013 cycle.

This program supports the development of value-added agricultural operations, an emerging sector of North Carolina agriculture.

Cost-share assistance, with funding from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, is offered to help developing value-added agricultural businesses purchase specialized equipment through a competitive application process.

NCVACS Potential applicants for 2013 should be:

A. Groups of North Carolina producers (including associations, cooperatives, partnerships, and LLCs); North Carolina processors (including corporations, partnerships, and LLCs), and individual North Caolina producers (including individuals and singles-family businesses);

B. Producing and/or processing a North Carolina-based value-added agricultural product, of which at least 50 percent of the raw agricultural inputs are grown/raised in North Carolina(that has been changed from its original physical state, is recognized by a certified non-standard method of production, is generating farm-based renewable energy, is a physically segregated product, or is a result of aggregation/marketing of locally- produced agricultural food products); and

C. Registered and operating in North Carolina.

Producer groups, processors and those who have not received NCVACS assistance in the past will receive priority for funding in the 2013 cycle.

Applications and guidelines for NCVACS are now available online at Applications are due by Aug. 1, 2013.

Applicants will be scheduled for an interview and/or site visit prior to announcement of the 2013 awards. Award recipients will be notified by September 15, 2013 and will have until Dec. 1, 2013 to request reimbursement for approved equipment purchases.

Funding may be used to purchase either new or used equipment; award amounts will vary based upon the strength of the application and availability of funds. Awards will neither exceed 50 percent of the project nor $75,000.

In addition to the equipment cost share program, NCVACS offers assistance to producer groups and cooperatives to help evaluate and grow new business ventures with funding from USDA’s Rural Cooperative Development Program.

Assistance may be provided to North Carolina-based producer groups for the following:

• Feasbility study

• Ethics training

• Strategic planning

• Branding, marketing and pricing strategies

• Budget & business planning

• Technology integration

• Organizational development & training

For more information contact: Brittany Whitmire NCVACS Coordinator, Blake Brown Agricultural & Resource Economics, or Jonathan Baros Plants for Human Health Institute

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