Dec. 17 deadline nearing to apply for farmland preservation grants
County governments and nonprofit groups pursuing farmland preservation projects can apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced recently. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 17.
"The General Assembly appropriated $1.7 million annually to the trust fund in the 2011-13 state budget, and we are hopeful these appropriations will continue," Troxler said. "Many communities across the state have developed voluntary agricultural districts because they recognize the importance of protecting farmland. We want to encourage more preservation efforts through the trust fund."
The trust fund's purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms.
"Less than 2 percent of the world's population currently farms, and our population continues to grow. It is imperative that we preserve farmland to meet the growing global demand for food," Troxler said.
Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; and for the development of agricultural plans.
Applications and guidelines for the current funding cycle are online at www.ncadfp.org or by calling 919-707-3071.