In an effort to protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises, The Agricultural Development and Farmland Trust Preservation Fund has awarded more than $2.3 million in grants for 2010.
In most cases the grants are used to purchase agricultural conservation easements and development rights. The owner sells only the right to develop the land to the ADFTPF and can continue to use the land for agricultural purposes. The owner can hand down the land to heirs or sell the property but if he does sell the land the new owner/owners cannot develop the property for a use beyond those defined in the easement.
"Momentum for protecting working farms continues to build across North Carolina and we are glad that we can help support 21 conservation and enterprise projects around the state," says N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "We received 45 applications requesting more than $7 million in funding. Clearly, interest in farmland protection is high."
The grants were made possible by a $2 million appropriation from the N.C. General Assembly. Below is a list, by county, of applicants that received grants:
Alamance County - The Piedmont Land Conservancy received $300,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 114 acres of the Iseley Farm, a row crop and cattle producer.
Caldwell - Foothills Conservancy received $170,000 toward the purchase of a conservation easement on 135 acres of the Jones Farm, which produces cattle, corn, hay and barley.
Carteret - The N.C. Coastal Land Trust received $270,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 50 acres of the Guthrie Farm, which produces a variety of row crops.
Catawba - Catawba County received $6,000 to help fund a program to educate farmers about the county's Voluntary Agricultural District and Enhanced VAD ordinances.
Chatham - Triangle Land Conservancy received $165,000 toward the purchase of a conservation easement on 102 acres of the Cohen Farm, a corn and hay producer.
Davidson - The Land Trust for Central North Carolina received $175,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 256 acres of the Stokes Farm, which produces cattle, wheat and soybeans.
Franklin - Franklin County Cooperative Extension received $25,000 to conduct a feasibility study for a slaughter facility and farmers market in the county. Also, the North American Land Trust received $182,600 to help purchase a conservation easement on 88 acres of Jumping Run Farm, which produces row crops, grain and hay. In addition, the land trust also received a grant of $10,000 to help pay transaction costs on an additional 20 acres the farm's owners donated for a conservation easement.
Haywood - The Southwestern North Carolina Resource Conservation and Development Council received $69,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 13 acres of the Henson Farm, which produces cattle, hay and corn. The council also received $55,000 toward the purchase of a conservation easement on 24 acres of the Robinson Farm, a cattle and row crop producer.
Orange - The Black Family Land Trust received $50,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 40 acres of the Thompson Prawn Farm, an aquaculture operation. Orange County received $150,000 toward the purchase of a conservation easement on 153 acres of the Breeze Farm, which produces corn, wheat, hay and cattle.
Randolph - Randolph County Cooperative Extension received $25,000 to assist with the cost of creating and implementing a farmland protection plan.
Scotland - Sandhills Area Land Trust received $159,940 to help purchase a conservation easement on 97 acres of the Gainey Farm, which produces row crops and timber.
Surry - Piedmont Land Conservancy received $25,000 to develop a farmland protection plan for Surry County.
Swain - Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District received $2,500 for outreach and education efforts in developing a farmland protection plan.
Union - Catawba Lands Conservancy received $286,860 to help purchase a conservation easement on 118 acres of the Howey Farm, a corn, soybean and wheat operation.
To learn more about the project, including additional grants made this year, visit http://www.ncadfp.org/