Farmers can apply for $5,000 cost-share program

Applications accepted until May 13

By Kevin Spradlin

There was  no overlap with his predecessor when Matthieu Quick took over the position of technician with the Richmond County Soil and Water Conservation District. In fact, the previous technician had left the position some three months earlier; they didn’t even have a chance to talk.

soilSo it was to Quick’s surprise — and everyone else’s — when he accessed a certain database that revealed his agency had more than $5,000 to grant in a cost-share program and a very limited time to award the money.

“Bam, there it was, right in my face,” Quick said of the program he learned of Tuesday. “This money’s been there the whole time.”

There’s not a lot of time to spend it. Applications will be accepted until May 13, and board members Tommy Deese Sr., Pat D. Dial, Jared Gainey, Cecil Robinson and Jeff Joyner, board chairman.will meet May 15 to vote on the successful applicant.

“We don’t have to spend it, but if we don’t spend it, next year we’re not going to get anything,” Quick said.

His agency has $5,169 to award what will likely be a single conservation project — such as a new well or fixing a pond. Quick said the state-funded program must be related to agriculture or water conservation efforts.

The program is not a loan. In most cases, it’s a cost-share effort in which the state will fund 75 percent of the project and the owner pays 25 percent. If the applicant is considered to be a new farmer — that is, someone with at least three years but no more than 10 years of experience — the state could pay up to 90 percent of the project’s cost.

Quick said he’s talked with three people interesting in applying in the past 24-plus hours. He emphasized projects will be evaluated not based on a farmer’s financial need but the worth of the project to his agency’s overall goal of conservation.

For more information, contact Quick at 910-997-8244 ext. 109.



Filed in: Farm & Ag, Health, Latest Headlines, News

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