Southern Farm Show to include conservation panel event Feb. 5

by | Jan 27, 2020

Anyone curious about land conservation programs and opportunities and who wants to learn more can do so Feb. 5 at the Southern Farm Show.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Farmland Preservation Division will hold a forum from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Martin Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.

The forum, which will consist mostly of a panel discussion, is aimed primarily at landowners who want to learn about the different conservation programs available to them. The panel will cover Voluntary Ag Districts, the Present Use Value program and conservation easements, all of which are ways for landowners to get additional equity from their land, while also keeping it safe from future development.

In a time when adaptability is key for farmers to turn a profit and preserve their way of life, knowledge is the best way to keep up, said Evan Davis, Farmland Preservation assistant director.

“We want to see landowners learn more about their options to preserve their family farms, and our hope is that they’ll consider what we present as part of their current ag operations and as a future way to keep the farm in their families or at least in agricultural production,” Davis said. “Hopefully next year, both us and USDA will have even more applications come in from this.”

While the panel discussion at the Southern Farm Show will be a great resource for anyone able to attend, landowners across the state will also have several opportunities to learn about conservation easements in the weeks and months that follow. Beginning Feb. 20 and running through April 1, Farmland Preservation will hold six regional conservation easement workshops across North Carolina. The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the schedule is as follows: |

• Feb. 20 – Maxwell Regional Ag & Convention Center, 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro
• Feb. 25 – Bob Martin Eastern Ag Center, 2900 NC-125, Williamston
• Mar. 5 – Iredell County Center, 444 Bristol Drive, Statesville
• Mar. 10 – Chatham County Ag Center, 1192 US-64 BUS, Pittsboro
• Mar. 17 – Owens Ag Center, 455 Caton Road, Lumberton
• Apr. 1 – Virginia Boone Building, WNC Ag Center, 765 Boylston Hwy, Fletcher

“These workshops are going to be a pretty much ‘A’ to ‘Z’ workshop on conservation easements,” Davis said. “So the complete life cycle from beginning to end, from how to apply both with us and USDA, what happens during the contracting process, and getting all the paperwork in order to actually record the easement.

“It’s also going to have all the processes needed for organizations to get their grant funds, as well as the monitoring that happens afterward,” he said.

The workshops are targeted not only to individual landowners, but also to county governments, nonprofits and other entities that are able to apply for NCDA&CS grant funding. The public is also welcomed to attend.