Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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Local farmers win grants to diversify

Two Henderson County farmers were among 28 growers in Western North Carolina who received grants to diversify their farm businesses in the 2013 growing season.

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WNC Agricultural Options grants totaling $148,000 were announced Tuesday during an event at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension
Center in Mills River. The goal of the projects is to enhance profitability.
Larry Stepp of Stepp's Plants won a $6,000 grant to add raspberry and blueberry acreage. Steve Dalton, owner of Fruit of the Spirit Orchard and Vineyard, won a $6,000 grant to expand his farm operation to add berry juices and jams.
The WNC AgOptions grant program has been funded exclusively by the
N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission since 2003.
Six farms received $3,000, one received $4,500, and 21
received $6,000.
N.C. Cooperative Extension implements the WNC AgOptions program and
works directly with farmers as they complete their projects.