NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in collaboration with NC Cooperative Extension, promotes sustainable food systems through the advancement of the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. NC Choices provides information, technical assistance
In 2018, NC Choices launched a new USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher grant focused on increasing the number of beginning farmers raising meat through either pasture-based or silvopasture systems by providing them with novel land acquisition strategies, resources, and training opportunities to increase skills, decision-making tools, and the market and buyer connections needed to operate profitably.
Notably, NC Choices will help pair beginning meat producers with grazing opportunities on
- Solar installations
- Land with woodland plots for silvopasture
- Land conservancy land under conservation easements
This 3-year grant aims to provide comprehensive support including long-term lease and land tenure options, targeted training and decision making support, growing market opportunities, and training for beginning farmers and farmer-trainers.
Here’s a video on our solar grazing project: https://youtu.be/zDWZ3w03JUo