RAFI-USA Grant Program

Following the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in 1997, RAFI-USA advocated for funding to be allocated to farmers and rural communities that would need to transition away from tobacco-dependent economies. From this came the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program, a grant program that assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agricultural income. Since 1998 RAFI-USA has funded more than 600 farming projects and distributed more than $6 million in funds to agricultural communities across the state.

Short descriptions of previously-funded RAFI-USA projects

Program Impact (2012-2018)

  • 148 cost-share grants awarded to farmers
  • 667 jobs created
  • 27,419 acres of farmland preserved
  • Nearly $1.25 Million invested in rural communities
  • $1,370,854.09 invested by farmers
  Through our work administering the farmer grant program, RAFI-USA identified an increased need for production, financing and marketing technical support for Farmers of Color. From this RAFI-USA created the Farmers of Color Network in 2017.

  In the fall of 2019, we received word that the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission did not renew RAFI-USA’s request for funding to provide Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grants in 2020. Although RAFI-USA is disappointed that we will no longer be able to provide grant funding to NC farmers, there is still funding available for innovative on-farm projects through other grant programs.

  AgVentures: $10,000 grants for farmers in 46 counties in Central NC
AgPrime: $9,000 grants for farmers in 33 counties in Eastern NC
AgOptions: $3,000-$6,000 grants for farmers in 21 counties in Western NC

More information about North Carolina Farmer Grant Programs HERE.

View other resources and funding opportunities for farmers HERE.

  RAFI-USA is looking forward to providing other funding for farmers in the future. As funding opportunities arise we will continue to expand our grant programming for farmers.