RALEIGH — The N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded more than $6.8 million to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises. Conservation easements were obtained on 6,064 acres of land across the state, including 3,890 acres in priority areas for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps.
These projects leverage over $5.9 million in secured matching funds from military, local, private and nonprofit partners.
“The past few years have been difficult for farmers. These awards for conservation easements will help keep farm families where they desire to be — on the farm,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “In addition, the funding for Farmland Protection Plans and agribusiness development projects will have a positive influence on local economies in counties across our state.”
The following is a list of awarded conservation easement projects:
• Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District received $98,424 to help purchase a conservation easement on 355 acres.
• Piedmont Land Conservancy received $263,515 to preserve 135 acres of a farm in Randolph County.
• Rowan Soil and Water Conservation District received $239,621 to purchase a conservation easement on a 150-acre farm.
• Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council received $82,851 to preserve 16 acres of a Haywood County farm and $124,350 for a conservation easement on 37 acres of a farm in Madison County.
• Three Rivers Land Trust received $584,100 to help purchase a conservation easement on a 320-acre farm in Cabarrus County.
• Triangle Land Conservancy received $962,450 to help purchase a conservation easement on 268 acres in Chatham County.
• Wayne County received $398,459 to help purchase a conservation easement on a 283-acre farm, $369,339 to preserve 366 acres of farmland and $194,708 to preserve 188 acres of farmland.
• Working Lands Trust received $25,625 to preserve 26 acres of a farm in Lee County.
The following is a list of awarded agricultural plans and agricultural development projects:
• Beaufort County received $100,000 for a project, Harbor District Market, for the purchase of air conditioning, sprinkler system, elevator and incubator kitchen equipment to serve the needs of the year-round Harbor District Market, Beaufort County Cooperative Extension, and the Beaufort County Community College Small Business Center.
• Columbus Soil and Water Conservation District received $14,000 to develop a Farmland Protection Plan for the county.
• Operation Spring Plant received $52,661 for a project, Retrofitting Silos for Prawn Production, to repurpose silos on former dairy farms for prawn production as a way to keep the farms viable..
• Rowan County Agriculture Advisory Board received $10,000 to develop a Farmland Protection Plan for the county.
• Rutherford Soil and Water Conservation District received $14,000 to develop a Farmland Protection Plan for the county.
• The Working Lands Trust was awarded over $1.73 million for two farms, accounting for 1,416 acres in Washington County, in the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base priority area. The Working Lands Trust was awarded over $1.57 million for four farms, accounting for 2,474 acres in Pamlico County, in the Marine Corps Installations East priority area.
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