The Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agricultural income.
Founded in 1997 as the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund, the program has funded 600+ farming projects and distributed more than $6 million in funds to agricultural communities.
Program Impact (2012-2016)
- 122 – Cost-share Grants Awarded to Farmers
- 606 – Jobs Created
- 25,808 – Acres of Farmland Preserved
- $1 Million – Invested in Rural Communities
- $1,227,964.48 – Invested by Farmers
Recent Grant Recipients
The deadline for applications for our 2017 grant cycle has passed. Please fill out the inquiry form below to stay updated on applying for the 2018 grant cycle:
Early bird deadline: November 30th
Final application deadline: January 16th
Award notification no later than: February 28th
Applicants are encouraged to apply early to receive feedback before the final deadline.
In 2017, we will administer the grant program for farmers and collaborative groups located in the following counties in North Carolina: Alamance, Randolph, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Person, Orange, Durham, Franklin, Caswell, Vance, Granville, Warren, Halifax, Bertie, Northampton, Chowan, and Hertford.
AboutThe Agricultural Reinvestment Fund assists innovative and entrepreneurial farmers and collaborative farmer groups in developing new sources of agricultural income through the provision of cost-share grants. The program awards grants of up to $8,000 to individual farmers and up to $10,000 for collaborative farmer projects located in North Carolina. We currently award at least 20 grants per year. Contact our Project Manager, Ben Paynter, for more information at ben(at)rafiusa.org.
HistoryRAFI initiated the grant program in 1997 to assist farmers transitioning out of conventional tobacco production transform their farms and put their own ideas to work. Today, the grant program is dedicated to assisting all kinds of farmers in transforming and strengthening their farms, enhancing their sustainability and financial viability. In 2002, RAFI began receiving funding from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to expand the program to serve more farmers all across North Carolina. The grant program continues to rely on the generous support of the Commission.
In 1997, RAFI created a cost-share grant program to help farmers replace lost tobacco income by putting their own ideas to work. The Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF) program began as a four-county pilot and has expanded with support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to serve all 100 counties in the state. Today, the program operates under a new name, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund, and supports farmers and rural communities in developing new and innovative sources of agricultural income through the provision of cost-share grants. The enterprises supported through this program represent a wide variety of lessons and experiences relevant to thousands within the state’s agricultural industry.Past projects have included hundreds of innovative initiatives: model pack-houses, mobile farmers markets, heritage poultry breeding, farm-to-school projects, specialty produce, micro-dairy bottling, cheese-making, low tunnel season extension, tropical plant production, wind-powered farms, model collaborative marketing ventures, and much more.
The economic impact of the program has two components, an investment impact resulting from grantees’ spending on new equipment, buildings, and other improvements; and an operational impact resulting from the expansion of grantees’ farming operations.
“The Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund supported the creation of between 578 and 583 new jobs in 2008-09, between 1,708 and 1,721 new jobs in 2009-10, and between 1,861 and 1,890 new jobs in 2010-11. In the three years analyzed for this report, the TCRF created or induced the creation of over 4,100 new jobs in North Carolina.” – Dr. Andew Brod, The Economic Impact of RAFI-USA’s Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund
RAFI’s Agricultural Reinvestment Fund is supported by a grant from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. We thank the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission for their commitment to North Carolina farmers and to RAFI’s work to support them.