Today’s Topic: Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund has been protecting working farms, forests for 10 years

By on September 8, 2015

Todays-Topic

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

September marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

Created by the General Assembly in 2005 and housed in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the trust fund has worked with North Carolina counties and nonprofit organizations to preserve nearly 10,000 acres of working farms and forests since 2005, and an additional 4,358 acres are under contract for easements. Commissioner Troxler says that translates into 115 easements on properties in 31 counties.

In addition, the trust fund has assisted with the development of regional agricultural enterprises such as shared-use kitchens and livestock markets, and has helped counties fund farmland protection plans.

The support of the General Assembly in funding this program is much appreciated, Commissioner Troxler says. Without continued work to conserve working lands, the state risks losing its best, most productive farmland and forests to development.

Farmland preservation remains a top priority for the department. Commissioner Troxler says he would like to be able to fund more even easements and assist communities in developing voluntary ag districts. In each grant cycle, the trust fund receives many more requests than it can pay for.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund and why its work is important to North Carolina.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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