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NC State Extension

Sample Application for Farmers

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NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission logo

Below is a Sample Application to help you prepare your project proposal.

ype your answers in a separate Word Doc, Google Doc or Note Pad. When the online system is open for submissions you can cut and paste your answers into the online application.

Farmer Application

Section 1: Priority Questions (This does not affect eligibility.)

  1. Are you a current or former tobacco grower, former quota holder or a close family descendant?
  2. What percentage of your gross personal income is generated from your farm operation?
  3. Have you, your spouse or farm business partner received a previous grant from any source, for the farm operation? If yes, please provide the following information:
  • What year did you receive the grant?
  • Who was the grant funder?
  • How much was the award?
  • What did you accomplish with the grant?

Are you related to a N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent, if yes what is your relationship? (Immediate family members are not eligible to apply.)

Section 2: Project Description

  1. Project Title
  1. Total cost to complete the project?
  2. How much money are you requesting? (You must provide 15% of the total cost.)
  3. How will you cover the remaining costs? (Borrow, savings, another grant, other?
  4. Give us a clear and detailed description of the project and how it will fit into your current farm operation. Will this be part of a transition to a different operation such as turning tobacco fields into strawberry fields; or are you incorporating new strategies to make the operation more efficient, initiating a new marketing plan or creating a value-added product?
  5. If you are not awarded the total grant funds requested, how would you modify your project?
  6. Tell us a little about the history of your farm. Is it a family farm and how does your family feel about the farm? Was tobacco ever grown on the land
  1. Tell us a little about yourself. Describe your farm and off-farm experience. What skills do you have that will be useful to the successful completion of your project? How long have you been farming?
  2. Why do you believe this project can be successful? What research have you done to determine if this project will work? How did you come up with this idea? Have you seen anything similar and where?
  3. Describe your marketing plan: Will you be selling directly to the public or will you be using indirect markets such a food co-op, hub, retail food store, restaurants or other? How you will promote or advertise the product or services. How is your product or service different from other farming operations in the area?
  4. Three-year vision: Most new projects take 3-5 years to get up to speed. After your project has been implemented, what is your vision for year two and three? Will you build on this project or develop new markets? Please describe how your farm operation will be sustained.
  1. Food Safety: What steps are you taking to reduce the risk of food contamination? Some examples would include: taking a pickling class, keeping a log, GAP certified? (This question may not apply to every project proposal.)
  1. Lessons learned: Grant recipients will be asked to share information about their project and what they have learned, with other farmers in the community. This could include demonstration field days, articles, one-on-one mentoring, Cooperative Extension workshops, etc. If your grant proposal is selected please describe how you would share information about your project and lessons learned. (This must be completed in the year you receive your grant funds.
  1. Do you have a N.C. Department of Revenue E-595EA Tax Exemption number?
  2. Provide a Timeline for Project Steps  (Use bullets or short phrases to outline steps.)

February – March:
April – June:
July – September:
October – January:

Budget for the Complete Project. (Include equipment, contractors, equipment rentals, materials and supplies. Your personal labor should be free.)

Section 3: Project Impacts

  • What is the total number of acres in production. (Include owned and rented land.)
  • How many year-round employees on the farm? (Include family)
  • How many seasonal and temporary workers on the farm?
  • How many workers are current or past tobacco workers?
  • How many workers will learn a new skill from the grant project?
  • If you are adding a new crop or product what volume do you anticipate this year? (How many acres, bushels, boxes, jars)
  • What profit do you anticipate from the new crop? (Multiply the volume by the current market price.)
  • If you are expanding a current crop or product, what increase in volume do you anticipate?
  • What profit do you anticipate from the increased volume. Multiply the volume by the current market price.)
  • Will the project save money? If yes, what savings do you anticipate? Give example.

Provide two reference letters.

The letters need to be digitized and uploaded with your application. If the letters are emailed to you, you can save them and upload when needed.

A reference letter should:

It takes time for people to write their letters, so ask early!
We suggest that you share the following template to as a guide.
A reference letter should identify the person you are recommending, and include information on who you are, your connection with the person you are recommending, why they are qualified, and the specific skills they have.
Whenever possible, it’s helpful to provide specific anecdotes and examples that illustrate your support.
When uploading files, each file must be under 400mb.
Save your photos as a jpeg medium size and you should be fine.
File uploads may not work with mobile devices.

Jackie Miller, Program Coordinator