Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to announce they were awarded a $584,100 grant from the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for the purchase of a conservation easement on a 320-acre farm in Cabarrus County. This property adjoins a 60-acre farm that has been permanently conserved.

“Projects like this one are a priority for our organization because we focus on protecting productive farmland,” states Executive Director Travis Morehead. “Over 95% of the soils on this farm are prime or statewide important farmland soils. Since 1995, we have protected over 15,000 acres of farmland in our 15-county region.”

The primary products produced on this farm are beef and poultry.  In addition, this farm also focuses on agritourism, with a very popular wedding venue. The farmer and his wife along with his two sons and their spouses all work on the farm and all of the family members have a role to play. The entire family agreed that they wanted this land to stay a farm for perpetuity.

This project is phase one of a two phase project, and the second phase will see an additional 500 acres protected if funding is awarded next year. The state funding provides 25% of the cost of the purchase of the easement, and we will apply for matching funds from the USDA for an additional 50% of the cost this coming year. The landowner will be donating 25% of the easement value.

“Located in Cabarrus County, a rapidly developing county, the threat of development to this farm from the growth is very high. Protecting the family farm with a perpetual conservation easement ensures that this land can continue to be farmed for generations to come” states Crystal Cockman, Director of Conservation.

To learn more about how to protect your own property, or how to support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or