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VGCC awarded USDA grant


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently awarded $286,000 to Vance-Granville Community College for a project, entitled “VGCC Plant, Thrive & Grow.” The grant funds will support and enhance professional development learning opportunities and facilitate rural prosperity and economic development in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties.

“With this grant, Vance-Granville Community College will address the problem of limited agricultural pathways in our service area. The grant will evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies to introduce technology and data-savvy competencies to educators and will help to increase interest in career opportunities within the food and agricultural sciences,” said Tanya Weary, VGCC Dean of Business & Industry Solutions and Project Investigator for the grant.  “We appreciate the USDA’s commitment to strengthen agricultural pathways in our four-county service area.”

Part of the grant will provide needed agricultural system learning packages to local school systems.  In addition, VGCC will establish two professional development learning opportunities, “AG for Educators” will expose K-14 educators to principles of agricultural business and technology.  Teachers in the agricultural field and/or related fields will be encouraged to participate from middle and high schools across the four counties that VGCC serves. Educators will also have the opportunity to attend two national conferences.

“This grant is an exciting opportunity for the community and VGCC,” said Dr. Jerry Edmonds, Vice-President of Workforce & Community Engagement. “VGCC continues to enhance and provide high-quality training that leads to promising careers.”

The program is designed to collaborate and strengthen relationships with the four county school systems, local N.C. Cooperative Extension offices, local economic development offices, local farmers, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

NIFA promotes sustainable agriculture through national program leadership and funding for research and extension. It offers competitive grants programs and a professional development program, and it collaborates with other federal agencies through the USDA Sustainable Development Council.

For more information, contact Tanya Weary at wearyt@vgcc.edu .