FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010
Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
Local-food council urges legislators to provide $5 million
for farmland preservation trust fund
RALEIGH — The N.C. Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council is calling on legislators to put $5 million in the state budget for the trust fund that supports farmland preservation.
The council today sent Senate budget writers a resolution urging the General Assembly to fund the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“The Council finds that it is critical to integrate farmland preservation into the development of a sustainable local food economy,” the resolution says. “Protecting and preserving farmland is an important part of the Council’s effort to rebuild our local food infrastructure and our local food economy.”
The legislature appropriated $2 million to the trust fund for the current fiscal year, but Gov. Bev Perdue did not recommend any funding in her budget proposal for 2010-11.
“Without funding, we will be forced to suspend farmland preservation efforts,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, “which means we’ll lose valuable momentum and, most likely, more farms.”
The General Assembly created the advisory council last summer to address program and policy considerations regarding the development of a sustainable local food economy in North Carolina. Its members include Troxler, State Health Director Jeff Engel and Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, plus farmers, educators, food industry executives, community activists and local-food advocates.
The full text of the resolution is available online at www.ncagr.gov/localfood.