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Golden LEAF Awards Ag Institute Nearly $1M

aerial view of farm with the Raleigh skyline in the background

The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to NC State’s Agricultural Institute (AGI), a two-year program that prepares students for careers in agriculture. The funds, which will be used over five years, will support the animal agriculture industry by expanding the pipeline of available talent for jobs.

“The support of the Agricultural Institute from Golden LEAF will provide the resources to improve the economy in economically distressed counties by allowing us to recruit students to re-enter these counties in high-need agricultural managerial positions,” said Beth Wilson, assistant director of academic programs and director of AGI.

The funds will help AGI:

  • Create an agriculture operations certificate
  • Develop a Food animal and poultry processing curriculum
  • Provide internship support for students
  • Develop a mentoring program

“The Golden LEAF project will allow us to meet the needs of our most important agricultural industries and at the same time improve both the classroom and out-of-classroom experiences for our students,” said John Dole, associate dean and director of academic programs for NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Today’s students need to not only have the knowledge but also the ability to put that knowledge to use in their careers.”

Golden LEAF’s mission is to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities. Agriculture is one of the foundation’s key priorities, with funding focused on increasing the value of North Carolina’s agriculture industry.

“Golden LEAF is dedicated to the long-term economic advancement of North Carolina,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF president and chief executive officer. “The foundation is pleased to work with NC State’s Agricultural Institute on growing the agribusiness talent pipeline in economically distressed counties, addressing the industry demand for skilled workers. This program will help build the talent, knowledge and abilities of North Carolina’s agribusiness professionals for years to come.”

Golden LEAF has awarded 1,915 projects totaling more than $1.08 billion since its inception in 1999.

This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.