Farmland preservation trust fund announces 2014 grant recipients
The N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded nearly $2.3 million to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises.
These grant recipients were applicants from the trust fund’s Cycle VII request for proposals. Funding resources included statewide general appropriations, Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds and, for the first time, military funds.
“The trust fund awarded 23 grants for this cycle, including conservation easements, agricultural projects and plans,” Troxler said. “Our new partnership with the military will protect and enhance the top two economic sectors in North Carolina: agriculture and the military.”
The trust fund collaborated with the military to support agriculture and agribusiness in areas of the state where military bases and training are located. TVA settlement funds were distributed to a 17-county region in Western North Carolina.
Below is a list, by county, of applicants that received grants:
The Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District received $375,000 to assist with the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 134 acres of farm and forestland owned by Janet Peterson of Fletcher.
The Piedmont Land Conservancy was awarded $314,000 to assist with the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 363 acres of a livestock and poultry farm owned by V. Mac and Peggy Baldwin of Yanceyville.
The Cleveland County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $14,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan.
The Duplin County Soil and Water Conservation District received $172,575 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 60 acres of a crop and forestry farm owned by Mitchell and Marlene Paige of Faison.
The Black Family Land Trust was awarded $143,475 toward the purchase of a 20-year conservation easement on 436 acres of a livestock and horticulture farm owned by Martha Mobley of Louisburg.
- The Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $362,500 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 100 acres of a livestock and crop farm owned by Andrew and Jamie Francis of Canton.
- The Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District received $87,500 toward the purchase of a 30-year conservation easement on 100 acres of a livestock and forestry farm owned by Austin and Kathy Swanger of Clyde.
- The Southwestern N.C. Resource Conservation and Development Council was awarded $188,500 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 80 acres of a livestock and forestry farm owned by Charles and Janice Henson of Canton.
- The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy was granted $135,780 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 175 acres of a livestock, crop and forestry farm owned by Robbie Kirkpatrick of Candler.
The Mitchell County Soil and Water Conservation District received $12,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan.
The Piedmont Conservation Council was awarded $14,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan.
The Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $10,200 to stimulate profitable and sustainable farms through a series of educational workshops, market studies and marketing efforts.
Watauga County Soil and Water Conservation District received $25,000 to buy high-cost farming equipment for rental to new and limited-resource farmers.
The trust fund also awarded grants to the following organizations for projects of multi-county and regional impact:
The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at Mount Olive University received $30,000 to prepare Cost of Community Services studies in Craven and Pamlico counties.
The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at the University of Mount Olive was awarded $192,764 to evaluate and analyze the potential for value-added soybean processing in Eastern North Carolina through the expansion of services provided by Mule City Specialty Feeds, an independent agribusiness company in Johnston County. The project will serve Alamance, Bladen, Chatham, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Nash, Orange, Robeson, Sampson, Vance, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties.
The University of North Carolina at Asheville Foundation was granted $7,000 to demonstrate the innovate use of perennial food crops on marginal land to increase small farm profitability. The program will serve Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties.
The Southwestern N.C. Resource Conservation and Development Council received $25,000 to develop a Smoky Mountain Agriculture Economic Strategy focusing on the needs and opportunities for farmers in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.
The Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $16,000 for the creation of a mobile soils exhibit that will serve as an interactive education display in order for the public to better make connections between the conditions of soils and water on quality of life.
The following regional projects will impact the TVA region:
Henderson County was awarded $60,000 to expand and upgrade a cider facility at McConnell Farms in Hendersonville.
Jackson County was granted $10,000 to assess whether a viable business model can be developed for a profitable red-meat slaughter and processing facility in Western North Carolina.
The Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council was granted $33,000 to install solar water heating systems on dairy farms in Western North Carolina.
WNC Communities received $25,000 to establish a system to deliver brewers grain as an alternative and cost-saving feed source to family farmers with smaller livestock herds.
WNC Communities was awarded $32,500 to fund enhancements and safety upgrades to the WNC Regional Livestock Center in Haywood County. The trust fund was a partner in the construction of the center.