County governments and nonprofit groups may apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for farmland preservation projects beginning Oct. 12. This year’s request for proposals includes funding for conservation easements, agricultural development projects and agricultural plans. Applicants have until Dec.18 to apply.

“I encourage family farms throughout North Carolina to reflect and determine if farmland preservation is the right choice for the future of their farm,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The funding opportunities through the ADFP Trust Fund strengthen our state’s top industry from the family farm level.”

In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded funds to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to place conservation easements on farms in the state’s Piedmont and Sandhills. This project was funded through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

The Preserving Upriver Farms to Reduce Flooding in N.C. proposal is a phased project that aims to reduce the negative impacts of soil erosion and runoff in the river basins in the Piedmont and Sandhills. This project will focus on eligible parcels within the Cape Fear River Basin from the headwaters of the Deep River in Guilford County and the Haw River in Forsyth County to Interstate 95 in Johnston, Harnett and Cumberland counties.

Eligible entities may partner with landowners in this region to apply for funding from both USDA NRCS RCPP and the N.C. ADFP Trust Fund. To verify parcel eligibility, visit https://test.ncmhtd.com/adfp/rcpp/. If your parcel is within the purple boundary, you may be eligible for this project. Landowners and applicants from this funding pool may opt-in through the electronic application.

There is no limit to the number of applications any eligible applicant organizations may submit this cycle. A maximum of four applications per grant category per applicant may be awarded during this funding cycle.

The trust fund’s purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms.

The grant application and guidelines are available at http://www.ncadfp.org/CycleXIV.htm. Call 919-707-3071 with questions. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 18.