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2023 Gaston County Farmland Protection Plan

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Hayfield

As part of a new strategic plan, Gaston County Government is seeking to conserve farmland and support agricultural production. The first step in this effort is to update the County’s 2009 Farmland Protection Plan and to incorporate specific measurable goals into the Plan.

Beginning in the Fall of 2022, N.C. State Extension and the Gaston County Natural Resources Department are coordinating an effort to engage County farmers and residents in developing recommendations to incorporate into the new plan. The goal is to present these recommendations to County Management in the Spring of 2023.

What is a Farmland Protection Plan?

The 2009 Gaston County Farmland Protection Plan is a framework to assist the agricultural community and Gaston County in working together to support and enhance agriculture in our community. By adopting the plan, the County opened the door to thousands of dollars of federal USDA cost-share funding to local farms. The 2009 plan included general recommendations but did not incorporate specific actions plans nor measurable goals.

Click here to view the 2009 Gaston County Farmland Protection Plan.

For a summary of the plan click here.

What will be different with the 2023 Farmland Protection Plan?

  1. The new plan will update data regarding agricultural trends in Gaston County
  2. The new plan will summarize farmland conservation efforts that have taken place since 2009.
  3. The new plan will research successful farm conservation efforts from across the country and will engage Gaston County farmers and residents to select strategies that best fit Gaston County’s situation.
  4. The new plan will establish measure goals and specific actions by County Departments and community partners.
  5. The new plan will be incorporated into Gaston County’s Strategic Plan, The Gaston Vision 2040 plan, and the Gaston Comprehensive Planning process.

Where can I learn more about Gaston County Agriculture?

2017 USDA Agriculture Census Infographic

2021 Gaston Farmland Conservation Data

2022 Agriculture Census is underway

Check back in December 2022 for information about upcoming community meetings!