James Moss has long enjoyed his time at his family’s farm located between Badin and New London in Stanly County. Throughout his lengthy career with the N.C. Department of Corrections the farm offered a stillness that he looked forward to. Now beginning his retirement, James makes the short trip from his residence in Albemarle to the farm almost daily. To James, getting out and walking around the farm offers the perfect opportunity to combine physical exercise and mental refreshment.
Thanks to James and Rebecca’s recent bargain sale of a conservation easement on the farm, future generations will always be able to find a similar peace on the farm. Just as importantly, the prime farmland soils will forever be available for agricultural production in this rapidly developing section of Stanly County. The LandTrust’s involvement was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. The Moss Farm consists primarily of row crops raised and harvested by a community farmer. In recent years the leasing farmer has implemented crop rotations as well as no till practices while cultivating corn, cotton, and wheat. Abundant wildlife such as deer and wild turkeys are known to inhabit the hardwood forests bordering the fields. Perhaps most impressive is the recognition of the farm as a North Carolina Century Farm, an honor bestowed upon farms being owned and operated by the same family for over one hundred years.
It is also noteworthy that the Moss Farm shares a common boundary with the Boy Scouts of America’s Camp John J. Barnhardt, a regionally significant summer camp for youth. Furthermore, Mr. Moss’ grandfather originally donated several hundred acres of property to the Boy Scouts during its establishment. The importance of Camp Barnhardt is that it contains nearly one thousand acres of invaluable wildlife habitat, relatively undisturbed natural areas, and educational opportunities for adolescents. With the gifts to the Boy Scouts and the permanent preservation of the family farm, the Moss family is poised to leave one of Stanly County’s most enduring legacies.
“Having been involved with Scouting throughout my youth, it is very gratifying to be involved with a project that not only protects 96 acres of great farmland, but also provides a buffer for Camp Barnhardt” says Kevin Redding, Uwharrie Land Specialist. “We are especially grateful to Mr. & Mrs. Moss for their patience and flexibility as we worked on this project. Hopefully, this project can lead us towards the preservation of more of Stanly County’s beautiful farmland.”