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North Carolina grants farm preservation awards

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently announced winners of the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

The five grants, totaling $44,000 were presented to:

• The Alamance County Agriculture Advisory Board received $9,250 toward development of a comprehensive countywide farmland protection plan.

• The Johnston County Soil and Water Conservation District received $5,100 to aid implementation of the county’s Voluntary Agricultural District Program.

• The Polk County Farmland Preservation Board received $8,400 to help pay for a survey and other costs associated with obtaining an agricultural conservation easement on a 400-acre farm in the county.

• The Southwestern North Carolina Resource Conservation & Development Council in Haywood County received $9,750 to help with creating an Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District and securing conservation easements for working lands in the Bethel community.

• The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in Buncombe County received $11,500 to help with its effort to protect 75 acres in the Sandy Mush Township with an agricultural conservation easement.

“There was tremendous interest in our grants, with 22 local governments and organizations requesting $576,000 in funding for projects valued at nearly $9.5 million,” Troxler said. “The number and quality of proposals shows that communities across the state see a need for farmland preservation, and my goal is to fund more projects in the future as additional funding becomes available.”

The ADFP Trust Fund is administered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The grant money was made available through an appropriation from the General Assembly.

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