Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
Between 1970 and 2010, North Carolina lost more than 6 million acres of farmland and 97,000 farms, according to USDA statistics. It’s a trend Commissioner Troxler has been working to reverse through the work of the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. County governments and nonprofit groups pursuing farmland preservation projects can apply for funding assistance from the trust fund. The General Assembly appropriated $1.7 million to the fund for this grant cycle.
Grants can be used to help secure conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production. They also can be used to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable activities in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Another use for the grants is the creation of farmland protection plans and voluntary agricultural districts.
More than 80 counties across the state have developed voluntary agricultural districts because they recognize the importance of protecting farmland. Applications and guidelines for the current funding cycle are available here or by calling 919-707-3071. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Dec. 17.
Click below to listen to the Commissioner and Rhonda talk about why conserving farmland is important for North Carolina.
[Audio:http://info.ncagr.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_11-6.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for Nov. 6]
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