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Farmland Preservation

Farm and Forest Preservation Plans

The University of Mount Olive's Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, located in eastern North Carolina, recognizes and supports the agriculture industry so vital to North Carolina. The Agribusiness Center has been actively involved in efforts to encourage and support agriculture and agribusinesses through the development of Farmland Preservation plans in 16 counties. Working with the Ft. Bragg BRAC Regional Task Force and the North Carolina’s Eastern Region, the Agribusiness Center has developed preservation plans with funding received from The North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund administered through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

Family farms and forests are the backbone of agriculture in North Carolina. Agriculture is the number one industry in the state and forestry and forest products are recognized as the largest manufacturing industry.   Numerous factors are challenging both industries. An aging farm population, growth and development pressure on limited natural resources, and limited land assets to support the expansion of farming and forestry operations force producers and landowners to work diligently to survive the changing climate of agriculture.

The University of Mount Olive's Agribusiness Center recognizes the need to assist farms and forests remain viable and the Agribusiness Center conducts trainings, workshops and conferences to address the needs of the agricultural community.  Through the development of farmland preservation plans, the Center assesses the current state of agriculture and identifies challenges and opportunities that exist for agriculture in each county. The preservation plans additionally set forth a set of recommendations aimed at addressing these challenges and opportunities.  Each plan is unique to each county and reflects this uniqueness through the recommendations and action steps proposed.

Each plan is developed with input from multiple audiences including farmers, foresters, agribusinesses, and non-farm residents of the county. Data from these target audiences help to identify strategies for local agencies, landowners and local governments to encourage and support farm families. 

After plan development, each plan is reviewed and endorsed by the county’s Board of Commissioners and certified by NC Department of Agriculture. Upon certification, the county receives a higher status for funding consideration for farmland preservation and agricultural development grants. The county also realizes a reduction in grant match requirement based on county tier designation.

Currently, there are 28 counties with farm preservation plans in place statewide. The Agribusiness Center has been involved in the creation of 12 of those 28 plans. For more information contact Dr. Sandy Maddox at smaddox@moc.edu or call 919-658-7682.

Linked to the endorsed and certified plans are below.  Please feel free to contact the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center with any questions or comments.

Wayne County Farmland Protection Plan

BRAC Regional Farmland Preservation Initiative

Working Lands Protection Plans

BRAC Regional Task Force Community Planning for BRAC Implementation
BRAC Agricultural Business, Non-Farm, and Producer Surveys

North Carolina's Eastern Region Farmland Preservation Initiative

NCER Surveys Non-Farm, Agribusiness, and Producer