Preservation Virginia/JTI Tobacco Barns Mini-Grants Project Update
Old Barns Get Facelifts!
Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce grant recipients for the Tobacco Barns Mini-Grants Project for 2014. Funded by a grant from JTI Leaf Services, the Mini-Grants Project was formed to provide small grants to help stabilize and repair tobacco barns in a three-county area: Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties in Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina.
The Mini-Grants Project is one part of the Tobacco Barns Preservation Project started in 2012 by Preservation Virginia to raise awareness on the importance of tobacco heritage and to help repair tobacco barns in the region. Tobacco barns are an integral part of the rural landscape in Southside Virginia and remain some of the last vestiges of the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Over the years, older, log tobacco barns have become obsolete and are quickly disappearing from the countryside, but this does not mean that locals are not concerned. Justin Sarafin, Director of Preservation Initiatives and Engagement for Preservation Virginia, stated, “Since we started the project, the amount of support and backing from the local community, both individuals and foundations, has shown just how valued tobacco heritage is to this region of Virginia.
“The granting process for 2014 was very competitive; over 300 applications to repair tobacco barns were submitted. In order to be eligible to receive a mini-grant, the barns had to be located in one of the three counties and had to be used for tobacco farming. All of the barns were evaluated for their integrity, historic or architectural significance, public benefits, their geographic distribution throughout the three-county area and the stewardship shown by the owners. It is Preservation Virginia’s expectation that with the successful completion of the program’s first year, funding will be available for the next two years. An updated application form for the 2015 grant cycle will be available on Preservation Virginia’s website by August 2014. Applications will be due on January 15, 2015. Those who submitted applications in 2014 will have to resubmit an updated 2015 application; however, images and/or historical information submitted previously do not have to be resubmitted.
Sonja Ingram, Field Representative