Three Rivers Land Trust protects third farm in Rowan in 2023

Published 11:36 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

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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.

On Dec. 20, Three Rivers Land Trust announced it has worked with another Rowan County landowner to conserve their farm on Chenault Road, a beef cattle farm situated on 59 acres.
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 North Carolina lost or compromised 5.5 acres of farmland every hour for 15 years. It is projected N.C. will lose another 1.1 million acres of farmland by 2040.

“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,” Senior Land Protection Specialist Emily Callicutt said. “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,” added TRLT 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 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 conservation work.