In November, users of feed and fertilizer across North Carolina overwhelmingly approved continuing the Nickels for Know-How program. The referendum passed with 96 percent of the vote.
The 60-year-old program consists of a voluntary assessment of 15 cents per ton on fertilizer and animal feed produced and purchased in North Carolina. The money supports agricultural research, extension and teaching programs in the N.C. State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The NCDA&CS collects Nickels funds from the manufacturers of feed and fertilizer. The manufacturers build the extra cost — three nickels per ton — into the price of their products. The funds are then deposited with the N.C. Agricultural Foundation Inc., based in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
All users of feed and fertilizer in North Carolina and their families were eligible to vote. This year’s vote passed overwhelmingly in all 100 counties and by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The Nickels program helps raise funds for more than 550 endowments that provide $900,000 in scholarships each year. These endowments also bolster faculty efforts, county extension programs and agricultural commodity research efforts.
Nickels funds also provide operating support for entities such as the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Foundation and the N.C. 4-H Development Fund.