Farmland preservation has remained a key focus of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services due to the continuing loss of agricultural lands in the state to development. To help combat this issue, farmland preservation grants are available for agricultural conservation easements on working lands used for ag production; to support public-private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; and for the development of agricultural plans. The deadline to apply is Dec. 19.
Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis
- The latest grant cycle for farmland preservation grants is open now, with a deadline to apply by Dec. 19.
- These are handled by our Farmland Preservation and Agricultural Development office with funding from the N.C. General Assembly.
- Landowners interested in preserving their farms through conservation easements must work with county governments or land trusts to apply for grant funds.
- I hope landowners interested in conservation easements will consider applying or contacting our Farmland Preservation office to learn more about the program.
- We have been able to conserve 30,000 acres through this program, which is significant, but development pressure remains strong in the state. That demands even more attention and focus be paid to farmland preservation efforts.
- The American Farmland Trust projects our state will lose more than a million acres of agricultural land over the next 20 years, which is significant.
- These grants offer options for landowners and they have been critical in saving family farms across the state.
- Under the program, landowners can be compensated for the purchase of the development rights.
- Grants are available for:
- agricultural conservation easements on working lands used for agricultural production;
to support public-private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities;
and for the development of agricultural plans.
- Landowners can find out more about the process and access an application at www.ncadfp.org/Cycle16.htm. Or by calling the Farmland Preservation Office at 919-707-3074.