Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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County eligible for farm preservation grants

Henderson County agencies and nonprofit conservation groups are eligible to apply for farmland preservation grants funded through the state's settlement of a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority over air pollution from coal plants.


The N.C. General Assembly appropriated a portion of the state's TVA Settlement Fund to support grants for organizations in 17 mountain counties working on agricultural development and farmland preservation. Eligible counties are 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 state 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.