Today’s Topic: Farmland preservation trust fund awards grants totaling more than $3.2 million

By on October 3, 2017

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

The N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded almost $3.3 million to help North Carolina communities protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises.

Of that total, more than $2.8 million went toward obtaining conservation easements on over 1,400 acres of land across the state. Easements take the development pressure off farm families and help them maintain their working lands for future generations, Commissioner Troxler says.

The trust fund’s other grants this year helped support a farmland protection plan for Ashe County, assisted the N.C. Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation with the purchase of equipment and supplies to improve pasture management across the state, and helped Cleveland County purchase specialized grain handling equipment for a regional marketplace for various grains.

Since its inception in 2005, the trust fund has helped conserve about 13,000 acres of farm and forest lands. Another 3,000 acres are under contract for easements.

In addition, the trust fund provides grants to help counties set up Voluntary Agricultural Districts around the state. These districts encourage the preservation and protection of farmland. The VAD program is a county-level ordinance that establishes an agricultural advisory board that provides a voice for farm and forestry interests at the local level.

Eighty-eight of the state’s 100 counties have either VADs or Enhanced VADs. To date, more than 9,000 farms are enrolled in these districts, and those farms account for almost 1 million acres of farmland.

Click on the link below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the ADFP Trust Fund.

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