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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEB. 6, 2009

CONTACT:

Maximilian Merrill, conservation specialist
NCDA&CS Environmental Programs

(919) 733-7125, ext. 257

Workshops on setting up agricultural districts scheduled

Feb. 12 in Morganton, Feb. 24 in Smithfield

RALEIGH – Members of county agriculture advisory boards and others involved in farmland protection efforts can pick up tips about setting up Voluntary Agricultural Districts at upcoming workshops in Burke and Johnston counties.

The following workshops will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.:

  • Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Burke County Ag Center in Morganton;
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Johnston County Ag Center in Smithfield.

The sessions will focus on Voluntary Agricultural Districts. A VAD is a planning tool that provides recognition of farming in communities.

The workshops are free, but donations will be accepted for lunch. To register or obtain more information, contact Holly Gilroy at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (919) 733-7125 or holly.gilroy@ncagr.gov.

At the workshops, members of VAD advisory boards and other interested persons can learn from one another how they might en¬≠hance their county’s efforts to protect farmland and help local agricultural economies develop, said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

“VADs are valuable tools for helping farmers and landowners keep land in agricultural and forest production,” Troxler said. “In 2002, 33 counties had adopted VAD ordinances. Today, 67 counties have these ordinances. What we really need, though, is for all 100 counties in North Carolina to establish Voluntary Ag Districts.”

The workshops are sponsored by the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, the state’s Soil and Water Conservation districts, the N.C. Farm Transition Network, N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Farm Bureau, the U.S. Cooperative Research, Education and Extension Service, and the Southern Region Risk Management Education Center.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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