According to the American Farmland Trust, the United States is losing forty acres of farm and ranch land every hour to new development. Since 1982, America has converted 24 million acres of agricultural land to developed uses. This is roughly the size of Indiana and Rhode Island combined. Farmland loss is particularly significant in North Carolina. Four counties in our state are ranked in the top 50 for farmland loss, with Iredell County in central NC ranked 38th in the nation for likely farmland conversion. In fact, 5.5 acres of farmland have been lost or compromised in North Carolina every hour for the past 15 years.
This rapid loss of farmland highlights the significance of much-needed farmland conservation work in our state. Protecting our viable agricultural land from development so farmers can provide for our community’s needs into the future is critical. With this in mind, TRLT is pleased to announce they have received a grant from SC Johnson to support local farmland conservation efforts in the Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina.
The $25,000 grant from SC Johnson will be used to continue TRLT’s work with interested farmers in their 15-county footprint to permanently protect their farms through conservation easements. “With more than 60 farmland protection projects in progress currently, TRLT is actively seeking to conserve over 9,600 acres of farmland in the coming years, relying on federal and state grants and private foundations,” states Executive Director Travis Morehead. “Without the support of TRLT members and funding from organizations like SC Johnson, we would not be able to do this critical farmland preservation work in our region.”
“Protecting farmland protects many other natural resources as well, including wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Preserved farm properties are managed by private landowners using sound soil and water conservation practices that protect the soil from erosion and local surface waters from contamination,” said Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust. “TRLT is honored to be recognized by SC Johnson, and we are excited about what’s on our horizon as a result of their support.”
To learn more about how to protect your own property, contact Emily Callicutt, TRLT Land Protection Specialist, at 704-647-0302 or email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at trlt.org.