Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has secured $9.2 million in federal funding to protect farm and forest lands from development and help the military maintain its training.
The grant, from the Defense Department’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, will support conservation efforts by the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership. This group includes the NCDA&CS, the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, other federal and state agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations.
The Sentinel Landscape Partnership will use this grant to protect farms and forests that are vital to relieving encroachment on military training areas and airspace. The program is voluntary. The military will work with willing landowners to establish conservation easements and management programs on high-priority lands near bases.
Commissioner Troxler says agriculture and forestry are compatible with military training. Protecting farms and forests near military bases from development also helps protect the military’s ability to train its troops and pilots. The program ends up benefiting both agriculture and the military, North Carolina’s two largest industries.
The funding was awarded through a competition known as the REPI Challenge. The competition is held every two years, and North Carolina was chosen over nine other states.
Click on the link below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this grant and why it’s important for North Carolina.
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