County governments and nonprofit conservation groups pursuing agricultural development and farmland preservation projects in 17 western N.C. counties can apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation-Tennessee Valley Authority grant program.
The N.C. General Assembly appropriated a portion of the state’s TVA Settlement Fund to support this grant program, and legislators restricted use of the money to projects benefitting one or more of the following counties: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.
“The ADFP-TVA grants are designated to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth of family farms,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We’re looking forward to helping communities across these 17 western counties preserve working farms and farmland.”
Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; and for the development of agricultural plans.
Applications and guidelines for funding are available online at www.ncagr.gov/environmentalprograms / or by calling 919-707-3071. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 22.