Farmland preservation remains a critical priority for North Carolina. Latest grant cycle open until Dec. 17

by | Dec 15, 2021

Summary: County governments and nonprofit groups encouraged to apply for funding for farmland preservation projects as the threat to farmland in North Carolina remains significant. The deadline for the latest round of funding is Dec. 17.

Today’s Topic
  • One of my top priorities when I first ran for and won office 16 years ago was farmland preservation.
  • It was a topic that was not getting a lot of attention at the time, but one that should have been making headlines. At the time, North Carolina led the country in the loss of farmland.
  • Anyone that knows me, knows how proud I am when North Carolina tops national lists when it comes to agriculture. But making this list was not something to be proud of. It was quite the opposite.
  • Topping this list was a resounding alarm for immediate attention.
  • I wish I could say farmland preservation was no longer a worry, but that would be ignoring the facts.
  • While we have a very dedicated Farmland Preservation staff and have continued to receive funding support from the legislature, a report from earlier this year said North Carolina ranks No. 2 in the top 12 states at risk for loss of farmland to urbanization. Texas topped the list.
  • There is no mistaking that North Carolina is an extremely attractive state. People continue to move here – enough that we have gained another Congressional seat based on our population numbers.
  • Likewise, we continue to attract new businesses. Apple’s announcement that it would open a Research Triangle Park campus is one example.
  • New people and new business translate into farmland shifting from productive fields and livestock into subdivisions and shopping centers.
  • We see it around our large urban areas, but you can also see it riding through many rural areas, too, and around smaller towns that are growing also.
  • Right now, the grant cycle for farmland preservation funding for county governments and nonprofits is open until Dec. 17.
  • Grants are available
  • o to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production;
  • o to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities;
  • o and for the development of agricultural plans.
  • A new alternate funding pathway for conservation easements is available this year. The Present-Use Value Conservation Easement Program allows landowners to determine their easement value using county PUV calculations rather than development rights appraisals.
  • I will take all the tools we can get and all the funding partners we can assemble to help protect our farmland.
  • Grant applications and guidelines are available online at For more information, you can also call 919-707-3074.