Farmland preservation trust fund announces 2008 grant recipients
The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund has awarded grants totaling $7.6 million to help communities across the state protect farmland or promote agricultural enterprises, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently announced.
“We’re very pleased to be able to help communities in their efforts to preserve farmland and forest land. Our main focus is to maintain working farms and create new opportunities in agriculture,” Troxler said. “We received more than 90 applications for grants requesting around $29 million in funding. This demonstrates the high degree of interest in farmland protection across the state. Although we couldn’t fill every request, these grants will strengthen efforts to protect some of North Carolina’s most valuable resources, thereby helping to sustain our state’s leading industry.”
The money will support 41 projects across the state. Below is a list of applicants by county that received grants.
Alamance County received $235,000 to help it purchase a conservation easement on 120 acres of the Braeburn Farm, a livestock and poultry operation.
Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust received $30,000 to assist in transaction costs associated with the purchase of an 87-acre conservation easement on the Baldwin Farm, a livestock farm.
High Country Conservancy received $19,000 to help in purchasing a conservation easement on 60 acres of farmland owned by the Robinson family.
Avery County Farmland Preservation Board was awarded $16,500 to help it establish a voluntary agricultural district program and develop a countywide farmland protection plan.
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy received $703,500 to help it purchase a conservation easement on 110 acres of Hickory Nut Gap and Flying Cloud farms. The land is used for natural meat production, growing vegetables and agritourism ventures.
Cabarrus County was awarded $675,000 to help it develop a slaughter facility, food council and marketing plan serving Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties.
Carteret County received $100,000 to help build and equip a regional facility for cooling and distributing crops.
Triangle Land Conservancy was awarded $664,300 to help purchase a conservation easement on 170 acres of Chestnut Hill Farm, a livestock and poultry operation.
Chatham County received $35,000 to help the county develop a farmland preservation plan.
Cherokee County received $33,500 to help the county develop a farmland protection plan and move toward adoption of a voluntary agricultural district ordinance.
Craven County Cooperative Extension was awarded $6,195 to help the county establish a voluntary agricultural district ordinance and farmland protection plan.
Duplin Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $232,000 to help it purchase a conservation easement on 87 acres of the Hargrove Farm, a small grain and tobacco farm that is transitioning to livestock and hay production.
Durham County received $398,000 to help the county purchase a conservation easement on 165 acres of the Tilley Farm, which produces corn, soybeans and tobacco.
Durham Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $30,000 to help with the preparation of an agricultural development and farmland protection plan.
North American Land Trust was awarded $323,400 to purchase a term agreement on 110 acres of the Harris Farm, which produces row crops, hay and cattle. The agreement will allow the continued production of agricultural commodities on the land for 50 years.
Piedmont Land Conservancy was awarded $252,000 to assist in purchasing a conservation easement on 306 acres of the Gerringer dairy farm.
Fishing Creek Soil and Water Conservation District received $157,500 to help with the purchase of a conservation easement on 108 acres owned by the Shorts, a young couple focusing on timber production.
The Fishing Creek Soil and Water district also received $442,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on the 370-acre Francis Farm.
Henderson County Agricultural Advisory Board was awarded $300,000 to help fund a cold-storage facility that will allow apple producers to extend the shelf life of their produce and increase profitability.
Henderson County received $22,500 to help develop a countywide farmland protection plan.
Hoke Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $15,200 to assist in the transaction costs associated with the donation of a 119-acre conservation easement on the Hough Farm.
Johnston County received $31,500 to assist the county in establishing a farmland protection plan.
Orange County received $132,000 to help establish a regional shared-use kitchen and food processing center.
Piedmont Land Conservancy received $160,000 to help purchase a conservation easement on 98 acres of Whitaker Farms, which produces a variety of crops.
Piedmont Land Conservancy also received a grant of $96,000 to assist in the purchase of a conservation easement on 64 acres of Rising Meadows Farm, which produces sheep and wool by-products, and also provides agritourism opportunities.
Land Trust of Central North Carolina was awarded $135,271 to assist in the purchase of a 25-year term agreement on 271 acres of the Rollans Farm, which produces row crops and hay.
Land Trust of Central North Carolina also received a grant of $25,000 to assist with the transaction costs associated with the donation of an easement on 195 acres of the Knox Farm, which produces livestock and grains.
Rowan County Soil and Water Conservation District received $367,100 to assist in the purchase of a 50-year term agreement on 149 acres of the Starnes Farm, which produces poultry.
Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina was awarded $658,500 to help purchase a conservation easement on 566 acres of the Flack-Bovender Farm, which is a six-generation family farm.
Stanly Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $27,000 to assist in the development and implementation of a countywide farmland protection plan and to establish an enhanced voluntary agricultural district ordinance.
Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy was awarded $291,500 to help purchase a conservation easement on 78 acres of the Whitmire Dairy Farm, which also produces hay, corn silage, sweet corn and straw.
Transylvania Agricultural Advisory Board received $17,500 to assist in the development of a countywide farmland protection plan and educational programs to protect agricultural operations.
Operation Spring Plant Inc.was awarded $30,000 of financial assistance in the purchase of a soybean crusher for value-added processing.
Wayne County received $15,000 to assist in the development of a countywide farmland protection plan and institute an enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.
Yancey County was awarded $3,000 to fund public educational workshops on ways to preserve farmlands and forestlands through the implementation of voluntary agricultural districts and a countywide farmland protection program.
The trust fund also awarded grants to the following groups for projects of regional or statewide impact:
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project received $12,000 to help with creation of The Mixing Bowl, a directory of local food buyers and suppliers in Western North Carolina.
BRAC Regional Task Force Inc. received $400,000 to assist 11 counties in writing countywide farmland protection plans. The counties are Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland.
The N.C. Association for Dairy Stabilization and Growth Inc. was awarded $80,000 to help hire a project coordinator and fund farm transition workshops. The effort is aimed at continuing the dairy strategic plan by recruiting, relocating and expanding dairies across N.C.
New River Community Partners received $22,020 to purchase equipment and develop a Web site to help organic growers in Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga counties increase their sales.
The Conservation Fund was awarded $216,000 to establish a cost-share program that will help low-wealth farmers in Eastern North Carolina purchase grain bins.
The Forest Education and Conservation Foundation received $228,000 to establish a strategy for enhancing working forest land management and to administer workshops across the state for forest landowners.
The trust fund’s purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands and foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms. Grants can be awarded for agreements that promote the active production of food and fiber on farm and forest lands; public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable farm and forest lands; and the purchase of conservation easements on farm and forest lands.
The grants are made possible by an $8 million appropriation from the General Assembly.