For information on the protection of property in Anson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, and Stanly counties,
contact Kevin Redding.
240 acres under conservation easement
North Carolina Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, The LandTrust for
Central North Carolina assisted in the permanent preservation of the
Barber Farm, an active family farm.
This project completed came through the dedication of sisters Rebecca
Barber Floyd and Joyce Ann Barber who acted to protect their family's
legacy farm in Cleveland, North Carolina near Barber Junction.
Protecting this 242 National Register Historic Landmark in Rowan County
reached "High Priority" status the moment it was introduced to The
LandTrust in 1997. The farm truly allows for a step back in time
– a living museum demonstrative of agricultural landscapes and
equipment from days gone by. The pastoral beauty of the farm is
matched only by the striking splendor of the mid-19th century homeplace
lovingly restored by Rebecca and Joyce Ann.
Director Jason Walser noted, "Protection of the Barber Farm is an
incredible victory for us. Not only have we preserved an
important piece of Rowan County history with this project, we have also
protected prime agricultural soils, scenic vistas enjoyed from Highways
70 and 801, important wildlife habitat, and a significant riparian
buffer along Witherow's Creek. In a way this project encapsulates
all that The LandTrust is about – farmland, natural area, cultural
heritage, and water quality conservation."
While the use of
the NC Farmland Preservation Trust Fund does pay the landowner for a
portion of the development rights given up by the conservation
easement, in every case the landowners are still donating a much
greater value than what they are receiving. That is, the value of
what they give up far exceeds that amount of money they receive –
typically by 70-90%.
Another interesting aspect of this
project is that The LandTrust was also able to utilize funds from the
Federal Farmland Preservation Program of the USDA. With help from
the local Natural Resource Conservation Service, we were able to put
together the first successful federal farmland grant application to
bring federal funds into Piedmont North Carolina for farmland
preservation. Since the new Farm Bill allocates hundreds of
millions of dollars to Farmland Preservation, this successful project
utilizing both state and federal sources bodes well for our ability to
tap into these funds again in the future.
To date, The
Landtrust has accomplished 5 projects employing the state and federal
farmland preservation programs. Combined, these two programs have
helped us ensure the permanent protection of 934 acres. Due to
current budget constraints the immediate future of the state program is
uncertain. However, the LandTrust is optimistic the outlook will
eventually improve and we will continue to move forward in preserving
the south Piedmont's finest family farms.