Voluntary Agriculture Districts
A Voluntary Agriculture District ordinance has been adopted by 80 counties. This means that more than ¾ of the counties in North Carolina are actively protecting farm and forest land for future generations. Other tools that often follow are the EVAD, farmland protection plans, present use value taxation acceptance and easements.
Does your county have a Voluntary Agriculture District program?
Where are there Enhanced Voluntary Agriculture Districts?
Benefits of a Voluntary Agriculture District ordinance
- Farmers have an official board and voice in the county.
- Authority and assistance is give to develop an Agriculture Protection Plan.
- Protection is added against farm and farmer nuisance suits.
- Landowners have the option to pursue a higher amount of cost share funding.
- Higher priority consideration is given for NCDA grants.
- More partners makes the county more friendly to farmers, foresters and horticulture operations.
- County may be able to get a "cost of community services" study.
- County will be included in annual report to the N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture.
How to Get a VAD Voluntary Agriculture District ordinance
- Voluntary Agriculture District ordinances must be passed by a majority vote of the county commissioners.
- A grass roots effort is often successful, but VAD_assistance is recommended to develop an appropriate strategy for your county.
- Identify key land owners and find some respected advocates in the county.
- Make a presentation to the county commissioners.
- Request their approval.
- Establish a committee to write the ordinance.
- Take the ordinance back to the county commissioners for adoption.
Sample North Carolina Ordinances
For more detailed information, go to the Land Preservation Notebook provided by North Carolina State University,
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.