Phase II Grant awarded

Published 7:58 am Thursday, May 2, 2019

Producers in 16 Southside counties will be eligible for matching grants this year under a program funded by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. During its Jan. 8 meeting in Richmond, the Tobacco Commission approved $426,000.00 in Agribusiness funding for the Central Virginia Pasture, Crops & Livestock Phase II Grant. The Central Virginia Pasture, Crops & Livestock Phase II Grant offers producers in a 16-county region an opportunity to apply for cost share incentives of up to $3,300 per producer.

This project includes the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, 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, cold storage and produce handling equipment.

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 Commission’s Agribusiness Committee said, “I am pleased that the Commission chose to provide more funding for this worthwhile program. Farming has always been a vital part of the economy here in Central Virginia and, since day one, supporting our local farming community has been a priority for the Tobacco Commission.”

Producers interested in applying for funding must attend a minimum of one informational/educational session out of 10 opportunities offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension agents prior to applying for funds. Local sessions have been scheduled at the following locations on the dates and times listed below:

• Lynchburg Livestock Market, Lynchburg, May 16 starting at 6:30 p.m.

• Prince Edward Extension Office, Farmville May 20 starting at 2 p.m.

• Southside Community College, Keysville May 20 starting at 6 p.m.

• Southern Piedmont AREC, Blackstone, May 23 starting at 3 p.m.

Cost share applications will be accepted beginning 8 a.m. June 10, at the Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in the participating counties. Funding is limited and will be provided to producers on a first-come-first-serve basis with special consideration given to producers who have never received a Tobacco Grant. Incentives will only be awarded on a one- time basis per producer, per family, and/or per farm. For more information on this program contact your local extension agent.