The past month has been another eventful one at Golden LEAF. The Golden LEAF Board met and awarded 16 grants totaling $6.96 million, including 11 grants totaling $2.987 million for Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery assistance. The Board also formally welcomed the new Golden LEAF President, Scott T. Hamilton, who will officially join Golden LEAF in November 2019.
In September, Golden LEAF staff met with officials in the Sandhills Prosperity Zone representing interests in economic development, agriculture, education, workforce development, infrastructure, and health care to launch the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Sandhills area. Golden LEAF Board and staff members also participated in the North Carolina State University Plant Sciences Initiative groundbreaking ceremony.
In this edition of Golden LEAF News, we feature the North Carolina State University Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI). Through two grants, Golden LEAF provided a total of $48 million to support the PSI. This public-private partnership will bring together the brightest minds in academia, government and industry to drive vital research and innovation that will increase crop yields, extend growing seasons, enhance agricultural and environmental sustainability, and produce new and improved technology. Golden LEAF Board Chair Randy Isenhower spoke on behalf of the Foundation at the event, which brought together North Carolina agricultural leaders, legislators and educators. Golden LEAF is the largest private funder of the project.
As you will see from our Q&A on Agriculture with NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Richard Linton in this issue of Golden LEAF News, growing the world’s food supply to meet increasing global demands is complex. Dean Linton discusses success stories and innovations, as well as challenges and threats to our food supply.
The Golden LEAF Foundation has insight and expertise regarding agricultural issues because several North Carolina farmers are on its Board. One of those is Jerome Vick. He is the chair of the Golden LEAF Finance Committee and a native of Wilson County. Mr. Vick grows a variety of crops on his family farm, including Covington sweet potatoes, a variety of sweet potatoes developed by North Carolina State University. Learn more about Mr. Vick in this edition of Golden LEAF News in our Board Spotlight.
October 22, 2019 marks Golden LEAF’s 20th anniversary. Golden LEAF remains committed to its mission to promote economic growth in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation. We look forward to continuing to pursue our vision and ensure there are opportunities for growth and prosperity for North Carolinians across the state.
Ted Lord, Acting President