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Grant helps Land Trust conserve Cabarrus farm

Three Rivers Land Trust has announced it was 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 percent 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 percent of the cost of the purchase of the easement, and the Land Trust will apply for matching funds from the USDA for an additional 50 percent of the cost this coming year. The landowner will donate 25 percent 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.

About Three Rivers Land Trust

Three Rivers Land Trust works with private landowners and public agencies to conserve the most important natural, scenic, agricultural, and historic places in a 15-county region of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Since 1995, the Land Trust has worked to offer options to landowners who want to conserve their lands for future generations to enjoy. The Land Trust’s mission is to work thoughtfully and selectively with property owners to conserve lands, vistas and the nature of the region.

For more information about Three Rivers Land Trust, contact the Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org or visit www.threeriverslandtrust.org.