Carteret County News-Times: Thank you Rep. McElraft

A letter to the Carteret County News editor praising Representative McElraft’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

TO THE EDITOR:

Thanks to the support of North Carolina Rep. Pat McElraft, family farms in eastern North Carolina will be preserved, military bases will be protected from encroaching development and North Carolinians will have more opportunities for outdoor recreational activities in the future.

The recently passed budget includes $22.7 million in additional money for the state’s conservation trust funds, including an additional $14.7 million for preserving working farms near military bases. Not only will this help protect our natural resources but will aid in the further development of our state’s economy.

As chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriations Committee, Rep. McElraft has been a strong supporter of funding for parks and recreation projects. She has been an advocate for restoring dedicated funding for the conservation trust funds and coastal storm damage mitigation funds. She has demonstrated her commitment to protecting our agricultural heritage and natural resources to make North Carolina a great place to live, work and visit.

In backing efforts to benefit North Carolinians, Rep. McElraft continues to show her dedication to the people of our state. We must continue to promote and develop our outdoor recreation and tourism industries, protect our military bases and increase our efforts to conserve water and land if we hope to uphold a North Carolina that future generations can be proud to call home. I believe Rep. McElraft will continue to be a key leader on these issues and thank her for her efforts.

Jane Rouse, Morehead City

Originally published on November 17, 2018.

Jacksonville Daily News: Senator Brown’s efforts not unnoticed

A letter to the Jacksonville Daily News editor praising Senator Brown’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

To the editor:

With the recent adoption of the state budget, legislators have made a renewed commitment to our citizens that they are willing to protect our state’s natural resources and scenic beauty, while promoting rural economic development. Senator Harry Brown, a longtime champion for conservation, has worked tirelessly to protect our state’s military bases, water resources and farms and to provide resources for state and local park projects.

His support for an additional $22.7 million in the budget for the state’s three conservation trust funds will help protect working family farms and forest near military bases and promote rural economic development through expanded outdoor recreational opportunities. Under the leadership of Senator Brown, North Carolinians can have peace of mind knowing their favorite streams, rivers, and lakes will be protected.

Senator Brown wants our children and our children’s children to have the same beautiful North Carolina landscapes to admire as we do today, while also strengthening rural economies. Thanks to his efforts, outdoor recreation opportunities, military bases, farms and clean water will be here for generations of North Carolinians to come.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 10, 2018

Times-News: Ross, Gunn help protect NC natural resources

A letter to the Times-News editor praising Representative Ross and Senator Gunn on their leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

North Carolina lawmakers are fighting to preserve the qualities that make our state one of the top places to live, work and visit. The recently passed state budget will allocate an additional $22.7 million to North Carolina’s conservation trust funds, which help protect our state’s land and water resources and provide funding for parks and recreation projects, like the Mountain-to Sea Trail. The budget also includes significant increases to preserve working family farms in the Piedmont. Alamance County state Rep. Stephen Ross and Sen. Rick Gunn were strong voices in making this additional funding a reality.

Ross has demonstrated his commitment to protecting North Carolina’s tourism and agriculture industries in his role as chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriation Subcommittee. He has also been a strong advocate for restoring dedicated revenue sources for the trust funds. Gunn has consistently supported conservation efforts throughout his years in the Senate and has been a champion for the outdoor recreation industry, helping create an outdoor industry recruitment position in the NC Economic Development Partnership. Serving as Co-Chairman of the Committee for Senate Appropriations on Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources, Gunn has supported land and water conservation time and time again to enhance our state’s economy and quality of life. By stewarding our state’s natural resources, legislators like Ross and Gunn are ensuring North Carolina will continue to be a great place to raise our families and expand recreational opportunities for all our citizens. I appreciate their leadership on conservation and hope they will continue these efforts to benefit future generations of North Carolinians.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 4, 2018.

Preserving The Lindale Farm

The Lindley family has operated their 182-acre dairy farm in Chatham County since the late 1800s.

Neill Lindley, the fifth generation of farmers in the family, still owns and runs the farm today. Lindley took over his family’s farm with his wife Cori in 1982 after graduating from NC State University. In 2009, along with help from his father Darryle and son Neill Jr., the Lindleys began to transition away from traditional practices, making their farm organic and sustainable.

Part of that process involved signing their land into a conservation easement with the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). The easement allows the Lindleys to continue farming, and it protects their land from future development.

“We definitely try to work with landowners that use sustainable practices,” said Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, the associate director of conservation and stewardship at TLC.

TLC holds conservation easements on nearly 700 acres of farmland in the Silk Hope area of Chatham County. The American Farmland Trust estimates that 40 acres of the nation’s farmland is lost to development every hour. In Durham, Orange and Wake counties, on average one of every five acres of farmland has been lost to development over the past 20 years. These easements play an important role in protecting farmland from that development, and they are also important in helping provide farmers with much-needed funding.

Hammerbacher said the Lindley family invested the funding they received back into the Lindale Farm, aiding in the transition to more sustainable practices. Now that the farm is fully organic, she said the Lindleys are doing very well.

“This farm is one of the most successful farms in the area,” said Hammerbacher. “And they definitely believe that switching to the organic market, particularly in the dairy industry, has brought them more stability.”

The Lindale Farm is a part of Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farmer cooperative. Farmers sell their products locally in all 50 states, and even export to 25 countries worldwide.

Read more stories from the 2017 Conservation Yearbook here.