Across rural NC, many communities are locked in a downward economic spiral. This struggle is partly due to a changing economy and the downturn in tobacco. To compete in today’s global market, family farms must explore innovative strategies to improve the economics of their global market, family farms must explore innovative strategies to improve the economics of their operations. NCSU combines research, teaching and extension to provide innovative solutions and practices. NCSU Extension professionals are uniquely positioned to help local producers explore new opportunities, identify key on-farm investments that support thriving farm operations, to learn from local projects, and disseminate the results statewide. To accomplish this, NCAF is requesting $640,000 to fund a two-year NC AgVentures program. The funds will be used for cost-share grants to benefit farming operations and increase farm profits. Grant opportunities will be distributed across eighteen Piedmont & Eastern NC counties that were tobacco dependent. NC AgVentures will award at least 48 grants (a combination of individuals and community) impacting a minimum of 60 farmers. Grant recipients will provide 15% in funds toward the project cost.