2023 Year in Review – New & Expanded Programs & Initiatives

2023 Year in Review – New & Expanded Programs & Initiatives

December 28, 2023

Flood Mitigation Program Expands in 2023

The State of North Carolina provided $25 million to the Golden LEAF Foundation to award funds to units of local government for public infrastructure projects for flood mitigation.

Golden LEAF launched the Flood Mitigation Program in January 2022. To date, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors has awarded $12.6 million for 57 projects located in Ashe, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Chatham, Chowan, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Granville, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Robeson, Sampson, Stanly, Transylvania, Wake, and Warren counties.

In the 2023 budget, legislation expanded the Flood Mitigation Program from up to $250,000 per project to up to $2 million. Golden LEAF expects most awards in this program will not exceed $1,000,000.

Projects requesting more than $500,000 must complete the application addendum found on the Flood Mitigation Program webpage and submit the addendum as an attachment with the application. Applications requesting more than $500,000 that do not submit the addendum with their application at the time of submission will not be eligible. The next deadline for the program is Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 12pm with applications to be considered at the June 6, 2024 meeting of the Golden LEAF Board.

Funds may only be awarded to units of local government. Local governments from all 100 counties are eligible. For purposes of this program, units of local governments include counties and cities and their boards, agencies, commissions, authorities, and institutions.

Eligible projects include the following:

  • Construction of new or improvement of existing publicly owned stormwater infrastructure, including natural drainage infrastructure and flood control equipment.
  • Repair of existing stormwater infrastructure damaged or destroyed by flooding, which must include improvements to mitigate against flooding.
  • Engineering expenses related to planning and development of flood mitigation solutions. See guidelines for additional detail on eligible use of funds in this category.

Learn more about the Flood Mitigation Program by clicking here.

Food Distribution Assistance Program Awards $8.3 million in 2023

The N.C. General Assembly appropriated $10 million to Golden LEAF for the Food Distribution Assistance Program. This program is funded by federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

In 2023, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded 74 projects totaling $8.3 million. Food Distribution Assistance Program funds may be used for the following:

  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) becoming eligible to be partner agencies of a North Carolina food bank or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current partner agencies of North Carolina food banks.
  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) establishing a school-based weekend food assistance program or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current school-based weekend food assistance programs.

Learn more about the Food Distribution Assistance Program by clicking here.

NC Ag Leads launches in 2023

On November 9, the Golden LEAF Foundation and the NC Chamber Foundation, with support from NC Farm Bureau and Google, formally announced NC Ag Leads, a pivotal strategic planning initiative for the North Carolina agriculture industry that will position the state’s number one economic driver for continued success. The initiative will be overseen by a steering committee that includes Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler in addition to representatives of Golden LEAF, the NC Farm Bureau, and the NC Chamber.

Golden LEAF has identified the NC Chamber Foundation to lead a strategic visioning and planning process that will bring together agriculture stakeholders to address industry-wide, cross-cutting topics that impact commodities grown in our state, and to chart a course that strengthens North Carolina’s position as a leader for agriculture and agribusiness in the United States.

NC Ag Leads will conduct a research and planning exercise that brings together North Carolina’s agriculture leaders, investors, and influencers to identify policy recommendations and strategies for fostering agricultural innovation, job creation, and economic growth in rural North Carolina.

Ray Starling, NC Chamber General Counsel and President of the NC Chamber Legal Institute, and Laura Kilian, Associate State Legislative Director at NC Farm Bureau, will lead the NC Ag Leads strategic planning process, directed by Steering Committee members N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, NC Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding, NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido, and Golden LEAF board members Lawrence Davenport, Laurence Lilley, and Don Flow, and Golden LEAF President and CEO Scott T. Hamilton.

Phase one of the initiative, focused primarily on researching and discerning opportunities, barriers, and alignment within the state’s agriculture industry, is currently underway and will culminate at the end of June 2024. Pending Steering Committee review and approval, phase two of the project will consist of solving and executing on the initiatives identified in phase one. Phase two will begin in July 2024 and conclude in January 2025.

Through the NC Ag Leads initiative, stakeholders will identify, educate, and plan for the impacts of external factors on the future state of the industry to position North Carolina’s capital markets, educational systems, farmer community, and the processing and marketing end of the agricultural value chain to take advantage of the opportunities for North Carolina agriculture in the next era.

At the conclusion of the NC Ag Leads strategic planning process, the North Carolina agriculture community will have agreed to a set of priorities that are both aspirational and attainable, and if given effect, would significantly strengthen the productivity, economic vitality, and community spirit of the industry, charting a prosperous future for North Carolina Agriculture.

To learn more about NC Ag Leads, click here.


Stay Connected

Stay connected with Golden LEAF by signing up for our e-newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.