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National Agriculture Day: Work Behind Preservation and Growth

12th Annual Land Conservation Hall of Fame (Photos from the 12th Annual Land Conservation Hall of Fame and easement pictures)

Buncombe County’s lush green landscapes are home to more than 1,000 farms and more than 78,000 acres of farmland producing about $50 million in cash receipts in the County.

Agriculture is vital to our community. Farmers, foresters, and all other agricultural stewards bring irreplaceable value to the County.

Farming happening today is vital to the region's economy and agriculture, which is why the County and local farmers are working to preserve these lands for future generations.

On Agriculture Awareness Day, we want to highlight all the work taking place to preserve and grow agriculture in our community and thank everyone involved in taking care of these rich lands.

Farmland Preservation Program
The Farmland Preservation Program helps preserve working farms and open space in Buncombe County contributing to the area’s economic health and environmental well-being.

Currently, 80,089 acres are protected and an additional 2958 acres are in the process of being protected, leaving 1049 acres left to meet the county’s goal of preserving 20% of Buncombe County by 2030.

The county has 26 forever farms as part of the North Carolina Forever Farm Initiative providing conservation support and a total of 82 farms and forestlands permanently protected.

Two of the latest farm projects to be preserved include:

  • Parham-Fortner Farm – About 30 acres of land in the Farm Heritage Trail on South Turkey Creek Road in Leicester for $150,000.
  • Lake Eden Preserve – About 336 acres of land serving as a backdrop to the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Swannanoa for $250,000.

Click here to read more about Farmland Preservation including the Voluntary Ag District (VAD) and Enhanced Voluntary Ag District (EVAD) or visit the Farmland Preservation Program website.

Century Farm Heritage
Farmlands that have been owned by family generations for at least 100 years are eligible for the Century Farm Heritage program which celebrates the contributions farming has had on the state.

The Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences provide this recognition program to eligible farms. Learn more about eligibility by visiting this website.

Opportunity to Connect In-Person
Join us for a locally sourced meal at the quarterly Friends of Agriculture Breakfast on Tuesday, March 26 starting at 8 a.m. at the Leicester Community Center.

This free event is an opportunity for the agriculture community to come together and hear from a speaker on different topics.

The guest speaker for this breakfast is Whitney Meadows, Buncombe County Exemption Specialist, who will discuss the Present Use Value Tax Program including tax deferment options for agricultural and forestry landowners.

Agriculture Support on the Go
Download the Visit NC Farms app to support the local agriculture community and businesses using local products on their menus and in stores. The app offers more than just a connection to local farms and farmers markets, it aims to increase agriculture viability by providing a platform for businesses that have not been traditionally considered a part of the landscape.

Users of the app can also stay abreast of local events hosted by agribusinesses in the community by searching through the Special Events tab and by keeping an eye out for weekly push notifications. Chefs and local restaurant owners can utilize the app as a way to explore the local food scene and find a wider variety of growers and producers in this region.

The Visit NC Farms app helps residents and tourists discover hidden treasures and become more involved and invested in Buncombe’s agriculture sector.

We’re so fortunate to have dedicated farmers, foresters, and land stewards who keep the County bountiful and green for generations to come!

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Updated Mar 21, 2024 02:09 PM
Published Mar 19, 2024 09:00 AM

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