While riding down Woods Dairy Road in rural Randolph County, the beautiful pastoral landscape framed by the scenic Uwharrie Mountains will now remain protected in perpetuity, thanks to a conservation easement closed by Three Rivers Land Trust in June of 2023. Lloyd and Tammy Roberts have now protected 306 acres of farmland, with this newly protected second portion of their farm covering 104 acres and building off the 202-acre portion they protected in May of 2021.

“North Carolina farmland is some of the most threatened in our nation,” states Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We are losing farmland at an unprecedented rate. From 2001-2016 North Carolina lost or compromised 5.5 acres of farmland every hour. If development patterns don’t change, we are projected to lose 1.1 million acres by 2040. The loss of farmland at that level is unsustainable for our state, and makes projects like the protection of the Roberts Farm that much more important.”

“Protecting farms with prime farmland soils such as the Roberts Farm is key in helping keep agricultural land viable and available for future generations,” states Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “If we don’t act now to conserve these productive lands, we will certainly miss our opportunity to ensure adequate availability of local farmland for our needs in the future.”

The Roberts Farm is a combination of pastureland for beef cattle and forest that will soon be converted to additional pastureland. The Roberts also sell their beef and other farm products at a local store in Denton. Lloyd reflects on why he made the decision to conserve yet another portion of their farmland “There is a lot of development in this county and surrounding counties, and I like development, but we continue to need open space. We need food to feed the world, and that’s why the driving force is to keep land in agriculture.”

This project was completed in partnership with the Randolph Soil and Water Conservation District, and with funding from the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Special funding for TRLT’s Farmland Fund making projects like the protection of the Roberts

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in their conservation mission, please contact Emily Callicutt, Senior Land Protection Specialist at Three Rivers Land Trust by phone at 704-647-0302 or by email at emily@trlt.org.

About Three Rivers Land Trust

Three Rivers Land Trust works with private landowners and public agencies to conserve the most important natural areas, scenic rivers, family farms, and historic places in a 15-county region of the central Piedmont and Sandhills. Since 1995, The Land Trust has worked to offer reasonable and attractive options to landowners who want to save their lands for future generations to enjoy. Our mission is to work thoughtfully and selectively with property owners, conserving land that is essential to our region. For more information about Three Rivers Land Trust, please contact the Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or membership@trlt.org or visit their website at trlt.org.