Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel presents a ceremonial check representing the seed capital matching grant funding approved for Appalachian Turf in Lebanon, Va., to Appalachian Turf owner Cowan Gilmer. Also on hand for the presentation was Russell County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Ernie McFaddin, right.

LEBANON, VA – JULY 29, 2019 — The science of lawn care — the right mix of seeds and fertilizers and the correct use of selective herbicides – is what Appalachian Turf applies every day in helping home and business owners achieve their landscaping goals.

Appalachian Turf was recently approved for a $10,000 seed capital matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) which owner Cowan Gilmer said recently will help his business to grow.

“VCEDA is pleased to assist Appalachian Turf in growing its lawn care service business in Southwest Virginia,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Helping local businesses to start, expand and grow is the primary goal of our seed capital matching grant program.”

Appalachian Turf worked with Margie Douglass, of the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College, in the development of its business plan and application to VCEDA. The business was first formed in April 2018 and provides lawn care services to homeowners, businesses and local schools in Southwest Virginia.

While lawn mowing services are available, Appalachian Turf’s primary focus is on weed control and fertilizer applications through a five-step program to build greener and healthier stands of turf. Weed control is a process that begins with identifying broadleaf and grassy weeds in the lawn and then applying the appropriate regimen of selective herbicides to suppress or eradicate the weeds, Gilmer explained.

Macronutrients critical to enhancing lawns are applied through fertilizers which include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Gilmer is a certified pesticide applicator and received his fertilizer applicator certification through Virginia Tech. He holds an MBA from King University.

Soil testing, grub worm control, flea and tick control, lawn winterization, lawn restoration and lawn aeration are a few of the other services Appalachian Turf offers.

The VCEDA funds, Gilmer said are being used to purchase a Permagreen Triumph Sprayer Spreader to add to the Cub Cadet lawn mower, a sprayer and a trailer the business utilizes in providing services.

“I am greatly appreciative of this grant,” Gilmer said. “It will be used to grow my business and to take on new challenges within my field of work.”

Giving back to the community, he added, is important to him and he said he looks forward to helping the Town of Lebanon and Lebanon Little League with their field at the Town Hall by volunteering to keep that field healthy, green and weed-free.

Currently, the business has two full-time employees and within three years projects an additional part-time job will be added.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.  or

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.