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Media Relations

Jenny Tinklepaugh

Press Release

Golden LEAF News - February 2012


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University is accepting applications for the Agricultural Leadership Development Program, due April 2, 2012. The two-year program is administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and is supported in part by a Golden LEAF grant.

The program is designed to develop the leadership skills of up to 30 young agricultural professionals who exhibit considerable leadership potential. The overall objective is to help people make informed decisions on public issues and decisions that shape the future of rural communities in North Carolina.

Participants represent all agriculture and related agribusiness in North Carolina. Active farmers, individuals in related agribusiness and agricultural organizations, and agricultural field faculty – ideally between 25 and 45 years of age – are encouraged to apply. The program supports 30 participants.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be accepting applications signed by your county extension director. For more information about the program and application procedures, visit or call (919) 513-2944.

In this edition of Golden LEAF News, read about job creation projects in Johnston, Northampton, and Davidson counties. Learn about Golden LEAF Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Initiative grants at work in Wayne and Surry counties. Find out more about agriculture processing plants in the western and Piedmont regions of our state. Become familiar with the Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative (CAI) process in McDowell and Beaufort counties and a CAI grant at work in Greene County. Read about successes with the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative.

Jenny Tinklepaugh
Program/ Communications Officer

In this edition of "Golden LEAF News":

Caterpillar expanding in Johnston County
Winston-Salem Journal
Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that it is increasing its manufacturing presence in North Carolina for the third time in the past year and a half by expanding its plant in Clayton. The company also provided a production and workforce update for its Winston-Salem plant, which opened in November. The current workforce of 103 full-time and 99 contract employees represents 40 percent of 510 jobs pledged by Caterpillar. For the Clayton operations, Caterpillar plans to add 199 jobs and spend $33 million on capital investments over five years. The current workforce there is 450.  The Golden LEAF Foundation is providing $951,500 to pay for equipment used to train employees at Caterpillar and other plants.

Enviva access road funds secured
Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald
Three grants for the proposed Enviva wood pellet manufacturing plant industrial access road will provide for all project costs, staff and project engineers anticipate. The Golden LEAF Foundation awarded Northampton County with a $200,000 grant that will provide partial funding for construction of the Enviva industrial access road, which will be combined with $500,000 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Industrial Development Fund and $160,000 from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Last year, Enviva announced their planned $60 million investment. The wood pellet manufacturing facility will result in the creation of more than 60 full-time jobs.

Commissioners finalize TIMCO agreement
Thomasville Times
The Davidson County Board of Commissioners finalized the terms of a grant and corresponding lease agreement with TIMCO Aerosystems on Tuesday night. Commissioners approved a $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to TIMCO. Under the terms of the agreement, the county will receive the funds and, in turn, pay for $750,000 of new equipment and a data acquisition system to be installed at the Wallburg location. TIMCO is one of the world's largest independent aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers.  The equipment is necessary to allow TIMCO to increase its production of aviation seating at a new facility in Davidson County.  The project will result in the creation of 500 jobs over seven years.

Golden LEAF Foundation $350,000 Grant Kicks Off STEM Program at Norwayne Middle School
Goldsboro Daily News
Norwayne Middle School in Freemont had an event to kick off the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program at their school. About 50 local dignitaries and supporters of the program were led through a demonstration of one of the fourteen modules designed in partnership with local employers including AAR and Cooper-Standard. STEM modules include computer assisted equipment, and with audio and video programs, leads students at all ends of the learning spectrum to learn and complete tasks. Mark Sorrells, Senior Vice President for the Golden LEAF Foundation in Rocky Mount presented a symbolic check for $350,000 that will benefit four Eastern North Carolina schools including Norwayne. It is part of a 3-year pilot focusing on what works best in supporting emerging jobs for rural counties.

Grant awarded for STEM initiative
Mt. Airy News
Several dozen representatives from the community and economic development sectors joined representatives of the Golden LEAF Foundation and the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Center at Pilot Mountain Middle School to announce a new grant to support the schools’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative. A $150,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation will help the Surry County Schools continue its initiative to prepare students to live in the emerging global economy. The grant will be used to help further cutting-edge programs throughout the school system in all grade levels. Golden LEAF has awarded a total of $900,000 to the STEM initiative at Surry County Schools to be paid out over the next three years, through several grant projects.

Non-Profit Poultry Plant Opens in Marion (click link for audio)
The first non-profit meat processing plant in the country has opened in Western North Carolina. The Foothills Pilot Plant is designed to help small farmers and impact the local food movement. The site can handle a thousand birds per day with a purpose of putting more money in the pockets of the farmers. For the roughly 35 game farmers in this region, the site offers a nearby processing plant and that means savings on gas and time. The plant can also provide the coveted USDA stamp of inspection – allowing meat to be sold to supermarkets and across state lines. The site will help farmers grow their businesses and provide consumers with more cage-free local meat. The money to build the facility came from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the state’s Rural Economic Development Center and the Appalachian regional commission.

Food processing center gives businesses a chance to grow
Burlington Time-News
The Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center (PFAP) opened in October 2011, thanks in part to a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The purpose of the center is to provide a shared-use food business facility for farmers and food entrepreneurs to lease commercial kitchen space and vegetable or fruit processing facilities by the hour to produce added-value food products for commercial distribution. Freezer and refrigerated space, as well as entrepreneur offices, are also available for lease. There are currently 10 clients from Alamance, Durham, Chatham and Orange counties using PFAP.

Grant would help turn empty plant space into career center
McDowell News
Recently local leaders from McDowell County were shown how the Universal Bedroom Furniture plant could be transformed into a “Career Pathways Skill Center” providing much needed education and job opportunities. McDowell County officials are hoping to get more than $2 million in Golden LEAF Foundation Community Assistance Initiative money to help with the project. At a Jan. 30 Community Assistance Initiative community forum, the group got feedback from Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach regarding several local projects being considered. The group of local leaders then chose the renovation of the old Universal Bedroom Furniture plant as the county’s project for Golden LEAF’s Community Assistance Initiative funding opportunity, which would provide more space for McDowell Technical Community College, which is landlocked.

Gerlach dissects proposals
Washington Daily News
At a Feb. 23 meeting, Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President, reviewed 14 submitted grant proposals through the Golden LEAF Community Assistance Initiative in Beaufort County. Those in attendance were there to find out how closely their proposals fit with the guidelines for the potential $2 million Golden LEAF funding. Organizations were given one week to augment their proposals and resubmit them for review by a committee nominated at the end of the meeting. The committee will ultimately whittle down $4.5 million to roughly $2 million in project proposals to be submitted to the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Board of Directors. The review committee is slated to meet March 19 and March 20 with Golden LEAF officers.

Bladen High students receive tablets from pilot program (click link for video)
News 14 Carolina
Bladen County High School students are rolling-out a new digital era for the school district. The students are piloting a new tablet digital device project thanks to a grant from Golden LEAF Foundation. This new project will encourage students to go online for speed learning and conducting research. Students can send their homework in as soon as it's done to their teacher or write them an email if they have any questions from home. Instant access to information is helping to change the whole scope of education. Beginning in August 2012, all Bladen High School students will receive the Thinkpad tablet.

N.C. Telehealth Network Successfully Connects First Non-profit Hospital
Broadband expansion on NCREN enables Vidant Medical Center to better serve Eastern North Carolina

PR Newswire
The North Carolina Telehealth Network (NCTN) in cooperation with the N.C. Office of Information Technology Services, Cabarrus Health Alliance and MCNC, today announced that Vidant Medical Center in Greenville is the first not-for-profit hospital to be connected to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). The connection was made possible by broadband fiber constructed during the first phase of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative. MCNC currently is working on a $144 million expansion of NCREN scheduled to be completed by summer 2013. This initiative has been labeled the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative, thanks in part to $24 million in matching funds to secure the project’s federal funding.

White House 'Champion of Change' is honor to share, MCNC exec says
WRAL Tech Wire
Joe Freddoso, chief executive officer at MCNC, was honored as a "Champion of Change." Freddoso and MCNC were recognized for the project to expand the North Carolina Research and Education Network across North Carolina. In talking about the honor, Freddoso made sure to talk about many other people who have made the $140-million plus project possible. The Golden LEAF Foundation became the lead private match investor in the effort to raise private matching funds. Many organizations had to work together to gain access to the funding. Golden LEAF awarded a $24 million grant that helped bring in a $104 million in federal funding and $120 million in total funding.

New class graduates from ag leadership program
NCSU Perspectives newsletter
Chase Hubbard entered the Agricultural Leadership Development Program as a farm manager at Warren Wilson College. He graduated two years later with an additional title: Soil and Water District Supervisor in Buncombe County. Hubbard is one of 30 professionals who graduated from the Agricultural Leadership Development Program in November. The graduates represent the full spectrum of North Carolina agriculture. Created in 1984 as the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership Development Program, which was open only to tobacco growers, the new program has expanded to include all types of agricultural professionals. It receives funding from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and Golden LEAF.

Greene Co. breaks ground on farmer's market
Kinston Free Press
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the future site of the Elaney Wood Farmer’s Market in Snow Hill with several dozen county and state officials in attendance. Grading and excavating crews have already begun preparing the site. The county received a $349,000 grant from the Golden LEAF through its Community Assistance Initiative in December to restore it and establish the county’s first farmer’s market, but has been delayed due to tornado damage. The farmer’s market is expected to open in July, and may have a temporary market during the spring.



Media Relations

Jenny Tinklepaugh

The Golden LEAF Foundation   301 N. Winstead Avenue   Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone 252-442-7474   Toll-free 888-684-8404   Fax 252-442-7404   Email

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