The History of the ADFP Trust Fund

In March 2005, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler delivered his "Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Strategy" to the General Assembly as a State priority. During 2005 legislative session, the General Assembly passed House Bill 607 establishing the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to support the farming, forestry, and horticulture communities within the agriculture industry by:

  • Supporting the purchase of agricultural conservation easements (on farm, forest, and horticulture lands), including transaction costs;
  • Funding public and private enterprise programs that will promote profitable and sustainable family farms through assistance to farmers in developing and implementing plans for the production of food, fiber, and value-added products, agritourism activities, marketing and sales of agricultural products produced on the farm, and other agriculturally related business activities; and 
  • Funding conservation agreements (on farm, forest, and horticulture lands) targeted at the active production of food, fiber and other agricultural products.

The legislation also established a Trust Fund Advisory Committee to advise Commissioner Troxler on the prioritization and allocation of funds, the development of criteria for awarding funds, program planning, and other areas for the growth and development of family farms in North Carolina. In the fall of 2006, the Trust Fund awarded its first grants to support projects aimed at agricultural development and farmland preservation.

About the Trust Fund's Mission

Why preserve the farming, forestry, and horticulture industry in North Carolina?

  • Agriculture and agribusiness is North Carolina's top industry:
    • Accounts for one-sixth of the state’s economy and employees.
    • Accounts for almost 16 percent, or $103.2 billion, of the $662 billion gross state product.
  • Working lands provide fresh, local foods to North Carolina residents and quality products to the agriculture, forestry, and fiber industries.
  • Agriculture is a compatible industry with the military and military training, which is second in economic importance in the state.
  • Working lands provide scenic rural landscapes for tourism, the third largest economic sector in North Carolina.
  • Farms and forests are critical in providing a healthy environment. Farmers actively manage working lands, providing essential benefits like erosion control, carbon sequestration, and waterway buffers.
  • Cost of community services studies in the state show that agricultural lands use fewer tax dollars than are collected. Working lands are a net provider of local tax dollars.