Earlier this year, Three Rivers Land Trust protected a 93-acre farm and a 50-acre farm in Rowan County, one of which grew small grains and was leased for farming, and one of which was a horse farm that provided equestrian therapy for the local community. Now, on December 20, 2023, Three Rivers Land Trust has worked with yet another Rowan County landowner to conserve their beautiful farm located on Chenault Road, a beef cattle farm situated on 59 acres.

North Carolina is losing farmland at an unprecedented rate. According to the American Farmland Trust, between the years of 2001 and 2016, 732,000 acres of farmland in North Carolina were developed or compromised. That means that NC lost or compromised 5.5 acres of farmland every hour for 15 years. If we continue to grow as we have historically, it is projected NC will lose another 1.1 million acres of farmland by 2040. Rowan County and surrounding counties are facing this development pressure, and that is why it is so important to conserve land here before it is too late.

“This farm was protected through a generous donated conservation easement by the landowner, and they also lease this farmland for beef cattle farming to a neighboring farmer,” states Senior Land Protection Specialist Emily Callicutt. “Leased land is important because many farmers cannot afford to own all the land they farm. Much of Rowan County is facing development pressure from Charlotte and Mooresville, and with that comes higher land prices. Protecting places like this farm is vitally important, to ensure our farmers continue to have acres to grow on to make their business sustainable and viable well into the future.”

“Three Rivers Land Trust has saving family farms as a main goal of our conservation mission,” states Executive Director, Travis Morehead. “Protecting tracts like this 59-acre one helps ensure that we have the foresight to set aside land that will continue to be in production, and provide food and fiber for our local communities. We believe that conserving our farms is essential to maintaining the rural character of our region.”

This project was made possible by a generous conservation easement donation by the landowners, and also by the support of Three Rivers Land Trust’s members who enable the organization to carry out this important conservation work.  If you would like to learn more about how to conserve your property or support TRLT’s conservation mission please, contact Emily Callicutt, Senior Land Protection Specialist, 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.