Got To Be NC members represent the farmers and agribusinesses that produce our state’s agricultural products. Membership in the program not only allows us to bring our members’ goods to market and into the hands of consumers, it benefits North Carolina’s agriculture industry as a whole.

Through members-only events, trade shows, marketing initiatives and more, we support members of all sizes, from wholesale producers and processors to individual specialty food entrepreneurs.  The Got To Be NC program is a business development program.  It is designed to assist companies that are in business to grow and expand market share.  The program is not for the hobbyist.

Apply for Membership

Got To Be NC membership is made by application to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, and may only be claimed by qualified and approved producers or processors of North Carolina agricultural and food products.

Apply online for membership today!  You can view our membership criteria by downloading it here. Prospective members looking to download a paper application form can do so here.  Please note, paper applications take longer to process.

Current members should verify and update their member profile today – it’s as easy as following steps 1, 2, 3! Search the name of your business to confirm whether or not your company has been imported to our Find Local directory. If you are listed, simply follow step 2 to the form to update your existing profile.

For current members not listed: You are still a member! Because of the age and volume of the old member database, we launched the new site with a sampling of the total membership data that had been researched and vetted. The fastest and most efficient way for us to capture updated information on our members for the new Find Local directory is to have you fill out the new online application. This application feeds our new member profile center. The application is more in depth, but takes just 10 minutes to fill out. This will provide NCDA staff with the robust details and information needed to serve you better.

For information on the new gottobenc.com website and membership, contact Jamie Hall, Got To Be NC marketing manager. Please note, in order to maintain the integrity of the data on the site, each application is vetted and researched before being uploaded. We are experiencing a high volume of applications and update forms, please be patient, as we work diligently to process each one.

Member Opportunities

Explore grant initiatives and opportunities available from Got To Be NC and our partners.

RAFI-USA Emergency Mini-Grants

RAFI-USA will be offering emergency mini-grants for farmers who have experienced a drastic loss of income as a result of the virus and need immediate assistance for household expenses. Please sign up here to receive updates via email, or check their social media channels for updates (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Facebook Creating Grant Program To Assist Small Businesses

Facebook is creating  a grant program to assist small businesses dealing with impacts from COVID-19.  Details are not yet clear on who is eligible but interested businesses can sign-up to get more information on the program as it evolves by tapping the Sign-up for updates button on the website.

Facebook has also launched a new Business Resource Hub, which aims to provide support for all businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak by connecting them to relevant tools and advice.

Perishable Shipping Course - Learning Opportunity From Grazecart

A free perishable shipping course being offered by Grazecart. You may find this very useful if you want to quickly open up online ordering and direct to consumer shipping. This is not an endorsement of Grazecart.

Grazecart is opening its  Perishable Shipping Course for 60 days at no charge (normally $1,500) to fellow farmers.  This will NOT include the live coaching calls or free setup packages found in the paid course but you will have access to all training materials needed to take action.

For more information and to gain access go to:
https://coaching.grazecart.com/perishable-shipping-launchpad

2020 Winterville Watermelon Festival & Got To Be NC Pavilion

Another Got To Be NC member opportunity. The 2020 Winterville Watermelon Festival, August 27-30, 2020.  Once again this year, we are proud to offer the official Got to be NC Pavilion. The Got to be NC Pavilion is a favorite at the festival.  The Got to be NC Pavilion will be open on Saturday August 29, 2020 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and will be in a location that will ensure maximum visibility and demonstrate the importance of agriculture to eastern North Carolina.

Got to be NC members will receive a discounted rate. All GTBNC vendors who register before July 1, 2020 will receive a 50% discount and will pay only $50.00. Members who register after that will receive a 25% discount and pay only $75.00. Each vendor will receive advertising prior to and throughout the festival.

Application link for the 2020 festival coming soon, please check back in April. For additional info, email wintervillemelonfest@gmail.com.

Growers Wanted

The Produce Box has supplier needs for the upcoming 2020 growing season and would like to hear from farms throughout the state who are willing to grow, pack and deliver locally grown products to their Raleigh packing facility. The Produce Box has over 9000 members who opt in for home delivered produce boxes. Interested growers should contact Courtney at courtney@theproducebox.com

Member Opportunity - Made 4 Market Spring Arts, Crafts & Pottery

The Greensboro Farmers Curb Market (501 Yanceyville St.) will host MADE 4 Market Local Makers Show on Sunday, May 3 from 11 am to 4 pm. MADE 4 Market Local Makers Show is the largest Triad based North Carolina juried craft event in the area. There will be a variety of handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber art, fine art, packaged artisan foods at this historic farmers market that houses over 115 agricultural, prepared food, and artists year-round on Saturdays. This special Sunday early spring market is an opportunity to find unique and thoughtful Mother’s Day, graduate, wedding and Father’s Day gifts. Eventgoers can enjoy live music and lunch from on-site food trucks on Lindsay Lawn.

Got To Be NC will sponsor up to 24 application fees for Got To Be NC and/or NCSFA members who are first time show participants.   Products are restricted to shelf-stable products only.  Applications will be accepted through April 22, 2020.  You may apply here.  To qualify for the “application fee credit”  you MUST use the offer code “GotToBeNC”.

If you have any questions, please contact Angie Blomer, Assistant Manager, at 336-0373-2402 or gfmassistant@gmail.com.

Business Headshot Sessions

Book Now! Got To Be NC is sponsoring mini headshot sessions for Got To Be NC and NC Specialty Foods Association members. This is a great way for you to get a new headshot for your business marketing materials or social media profiles. Sessions will be 20 minutes and members will receive two images – one with your product(s) and one without. Up to 48 members can take advantage of this FREE opportunity. The sessions will be held on May 5 & 6 at the NCDA&CS building in downtown Raleigh. For more information and to schedule your session, contact Sherry Barefoot at sherry.barefoot@ncagr.gov or (919) 707-3154 to schedule your session.

Product Photography Sessions For Got To Be NC Members

Due to a high level of interest, Got To Be NC is sponsoring another product photography session for up to 32 Got To Be NC members on June 16 & 17. Professional photographer, Stacey Sprenz, has been contracted for these sessions. Participating companies will receive up to eight high-resolution product photographs to be used for marketing. Members can choose to deliver their products and be on site for their session, or they can ship their shelf-stable products in advance. Sessions will be held at the NCDA&CS building in downtown Raleigh. Please contact Sherry Barefoot at sherry.barefoot@ncagr.gov or (919) 707-3154 to schedule your session and for further instructions. We do have a waiting list from the previous session, so you are encouraged to schedule your session right away. These sessions are FREE and have a value in excess of $500!

Southern Women's Show - Raleigh

A small number of spaces are still available in the Got To Be NC Pavilion at the Southern Women’s Show on June 19 – 21. Got To Be NC and/or NC Specialty Foods Association members can apply for a reduced rate of $500 for an inline space and $600 for a corner space within the Pavilion only. Got To Be NC funds supplement the remaining cost of the booth and décor. You must note on your application that you are a Got To Be NC or an NC Specialty Foods Association member. For more information click here.  Only a few spaces still available.

ServSafe Training

Got To Be NC will be sponsoring a ServSafe Food Handler training on Monday, May 11 for Got To Be NC and Specialty Foods Association members. The training will be facilitated by Jane Broden, founder of BEST (Broden e-Solutions and Training) and will be held at the NC Rural Center located at 4021 Carya Drive, Raleigh NC from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. This training will be for anyone who wants to be adapt at food safety. Five key areas of food safety that will be covered are: Basic Food Safety, Personal Hygiene, Cross-Contamination & Allergens, Time and Temperature, Cleaning and Sanitation. There will be no fee charged to participants for this training and the ServSafe Food Handler Guide 6th Edition will be provided. Class size will be limited to 35 participants. To register for the training, contact Sherry Barefoot at sherry.barefoot@ncagr.gov.

Summer Fancy Food Show

A cost share of $1,000 per company will be available for up to 10 NC Specialty Foods Association member companies exhibiting at the event June 28-30, 2020 at the Javits Center, New York, New York. Funds will be disbursed by the NC Specialty Foods Association after the event. Reimbursements will be awarded on a first come first served basis. Participating companies must submit a copy of the receipt from the show organizer where the booth space was paid, a photo/photos of their booth and an invoice addressed to the NC Specialty Foods Association for reimbursement. For more information about exhibiting at the show go to. Contact Sherry Barefoot at sherry.barefoot@ncagr.gov with any questions regarding the reimbursement.

Social Media Seminar

Got To Be NC and NC Specialty Food members only – A few spaces are still available for the free Social Media Seminar on April 28 in Raleigh. The registration deadline is April 21. Two separate registration times.  Click here for Part 1 registration. Click here for Part 2 registration. Participants must attend the morning session.  Rescheduled for June 26.  Same time and location.

Southern Women’s Show - Charlotte

Got To Be NC will be sponsoring space in the Got To Be NC Pavilion at the Southern Women’s Show in Charlotte on October 2-4. A 50-percent cost share will be available for 10 booth spaces in the Pavilion. Got To Be NC and/or NC Specialty Foods Association members will receive a reduced rate of $500 for an inline space or $600 for a corner space. Spaces are limited to food products only. Members must note on their application that they are a Got To Be NC and/or and NC Specialty Foods Association member. For more information and to apply click here

Retail Product Opportunity

Hawk’s Nest Café & General Store (Kinston) is looking for shelf stable food products for its general store.  Sauces, pickled vegetables, dry goods (corn bread mix, breading, etc.) and condiments are of particular interest. Contact Judy Johnson at judy@hawksauce.com.

Got To Be NC Alley @ Mumfest

Got To Be NC and NC Specialty Foods Association members will have the opportunity to sample and sell their products at MumFest 2020 in New Bern on October 10-11. Got To Be NC is sponsoring a designated space for members to showcase their products as a group.  Up to 70 spaces are available.  As a result of the Got To Be NC sponsorship, members will receive a reduced rate of $100 for a 10’ x 10’ space, which will include electricity if desired.  Companies may purchase more than one space at $75 per additional space.  For more information and to request an application, contact Margaret at margaret@madeinncstore.com.  Applications will be accepted from March 15, 2020 through September 25, 2020.

Rapid Recovery Loans

Golden Leaf and the NC Rural Center have just introduced a new loan program called NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans.

The EDPNC and their small business helpdesk named “BLNC” will be taking calls and answering questions starting Wed. 3/25. BLNC can be reached at: Toll Free: (800) 228-8443. 

The new product is a rapid recovery loan that is designed to provide businesses with the capital they need before federal loans and insurance payouts are approved. The SBA process is an 8-21 day process. The process for this program is expected to be completed in 4 days (if all the info is provided). There is a very easy online application process that starts here.

A group of five different lending partners have come together on this including: Thread Capital, Befcor, CSBDF, Mountain Biz Works and NCIFund.

These are 0% interest loans for the first 6 months, so they will be a bridge loan option.