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  • CCN - Columbus County News

Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Announces Grant Cycle

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is accepting applications for the 2023 grant cycle. The key objectives for 2023 are supporting the agricultural industry, impacting rural communities and stimulating economic development. Funds will be awarded in the fall of 2023 for selected innovative projects.

Application information is now online at for qualifying organizations. “North Carolinians are great at innovation and creating jobs. We produce outstanding agriculture products and market them to the world. Providing funds for projects in current or former tobacco-dependent regions that enhance these efforts is our 2023 priorities,” said William H. “Bill” Teague, NCTTFC Chairman. "Applications will be accepted online for innovative projects within North Carolina. Selected projects should expect to start in November of 2023."

The NCTTFC was established in 2000 by the N.C. General Assembly to help members of the tobacco community including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses. Its original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Funding is now appropriated to the NCTTFC which then reviews, selects and disperses the funds to grant projects.

Past NCTTFC projects includes fair and farmers market improvements, cost-share grant programs for farmers, commodity marketing, researching alternative crops and support of agricultural education programs.

More information can be found at the NCTTFC’s website (, or by calling Jeff Camden at 919-733-2160 ext 1. The deadline for applications submission is Friday March 3, 2023.

Youth who participated in N.C. State Fair junior livestock competitions are eligible to apply for N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarships. The deadline to apply is March 1.

Up to 25 $2,000 scholarships are available, in addition to one $2,500 Farm Credit of N.C. Premier Scholarship.

“Paying for college can be challenging especially with the rising costs on every day expenses, but scholarships awarded through this program have helped many families with those expenses,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Since the program started in 2015, we have awarded around $350,000 in scholarships, which is a tremendous investment in young people. Thank you to all the buyers who helped make this program a success.”

All youth who exhibited a livestock animal at the State Fair are eligible regardless of species, class or show placement. Scholarships are good for institutes of higher learning, including community colleges and technical schools. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 course hours.

The scholarship money is raised through the State Fair’s annual Sale of Champions where grand and reserve grand champions, along with champion Got to Be NC animals are sold at auction. A percentage of the sale total goes into this youth livestock scholarship program.

High school seniors and college students will need to submit the completed application, including their State Fair junior livestock experience, a 500-word essay, academic achievements and extracurricular activities they are involved in. Youth are eligible to receive the scholarship a maximum of four times.

Applications can be downloaded at Completed application packets should be returned to N.C. State Fair, Attn. Livestock Office, 1010 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1010. For questions, contact Neil Bowman at by email at

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Nonprofits and government agencies wishing to apply have until March 3 at 5 p.m.

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