Agricultural Reinvestment Fund

Flower seedlings in the greenhouse at Bluebird Meadows made possible by our Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program.

RAFI’s Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agricultural income. This grant program has funded more than 600 farming projects and distributed more than $6 million in funds to agricultural communities.

In partnership with the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund awards grants of up to $9,000 to individual farmers and up to $11,000 for collaborative farmer projects located in North Carolina. We award at least 25 grants per year.

RAFI initiated the grant program in 1997, originally known as the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund, to help beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers in historically tobacco-dependent communities transition their farms to become more economically viable. Today, the grant program is dedicated to assisting all types of farmers transform and strengthen their farms, enhancing their sustainability and financial viability. In turn, grant recipients are able to demonstrate new ideas and innovative models for farm profitability to other farmers in their communities.

Program Impact (2012-2017)

  • 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

2018 Grant Program

RAFI is pleased to announce its 2018 grant program received 90 applications, 83 of which were eligible for the program. This year, we awarded 26 grants. Here are the highlights:
  • $225,000 awarded to 26 projects
  • 23 grants to individual farmer projects
  • 3 grants to collaborative farmer groups
  • Types of projects include: dairy, education, fiber, fruits, grains, horticulture, hydroponics, livestock, marketing, medicinal herbs, poultry and value-added products
  • Grantees represent 16 counties:  Alamance, Bertie, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Northampton, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rowan, Vance, Wake, Warren
  • 5 recipients are former tobacco quota holders
  • 10 recipients are current or former tobacco farmers
  • ~ 49% are Beginning Farmers (under 10 years in operation)
  • ~ 5% are Veteran Farmers
  • ~ 36% are Women Farmers
  • ~ 25% are Socially Disadvantaged Farmers
Click here for our list of the 2017 grant recipients.
Click here to view a list of past grant recipients.

Grant Inquiries

The deadline to submit applications to our 2018 program has passed. Please fill out the short form below to receive an announcement in late fall for when applications will be available for the next grant cycle and other information pertaining to the grant program.

Download an application for the 2018 Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program here.
Download a flyer about the 2018 Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program here.
Download a short PDF on how to write a successful proposal here.

Other Grant Opportunities

RAFI has compiled a list of similar grant opportunities throughout NC. Learn about them here.
NCTTFC-Logo-156x94RAFI’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.