Voluntary Agricultural Districts

Voluntary Ag Districts LogoThe State of North Carolina passed the Farmland Preservation Enabling Act in 1985, authorizing counties to establish farmland preservation programs, including agricultural districts. Pitt County adopted the Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance establishing procedures for creating Voluntary Agricultural Districts in 2013. The purpose of the ordinance is to promote the preservation of farmland in Pitt County so that development and growth will be accompanied by protection of farms from non–farm development and other negative impacts on properly managed farms, recognizing the importance of agriculture to the economic and cultural life of the county.

Agricultural Advisory Board Meetings

The Agricultural Advisory Board meets the fourth Monday of every month (unless otherwise notified) at 5:00 pm in the Pitt County Agricultural Center Conference Room.

Your Agricultural Land is a Valuable Asset to the Citizens of Pitt County

Citizens of Pitt County derive many benefits from your farmland: clean water and air, plant and animal habitat, fresh fruits, vegetables, meat products, horticultural products, and scenic rural vistas. Now you can enroll in a program that demonstrates your pride and commitment to agriculture, and celebrates your contribution to the exceptional quality of life in Pitt County.

Purpose

To promote agricultural and environmental values and the general welfare of the county by increasing identity and pride in the agricultural community and its way of life; encourage the economic health of agriculture; and to increase protection from non-farm development and other negative impacts on properly managed farms.

Public Benefits 

  • Preserves open space in the county. 
  • Provides economic diversity in the county.
  • Increases opportunities to produce locally grown agricultural commodities.

Farmer Benefits

  • Informs new landowners of farm presence and potential of dust, noise and smells associated with agriculture possibly reducing conflicts between neighbors. 
  • Requires that farmland be used as a last resort if land is considered for a public project that may condemn land. 
  • Recognition, by signage, telling passersby that the farm owner is committed to an agricultural way of life in Pitt County.

Who Qualities

Landowners qualify for inclusion as a Voluntary Agricultural District if they meet the following conditions:Voluntary Ag Districts Sign 

  • Be participating in the farm Present Use Value Taxation program or is otherwise determined by Pitt County Tax Department to meet all the qualifications of this program set forth in G.S. 105-277.3 
  • Be certified by the National Resources Conservation Service as being a farm having a conservation plan.


Stipulations

  • Maximum creation of three lots within 10-year period.
  • The property owner may at a any time voluntarily revoke agreement by submitting a written notice to the Agricultural Advisory Board.

For additional information please review a copy of the Pitt County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance by clicking Pitt County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance.  

Why Have Agricultural Districts? 

The State of North Carolina passed the Farmland Preservation Enabling Act in 1985, authorizing counties to establish farmland preservation programs, including agricultural districts. Pitt County Commissioners adopted a Voluntary Agricultural District Program Ordinance, creating the Agricultural Advisory Board and procedures for establishing Voluntary Agricultural Districts.

What is the Agricultural Advisory Board? 

The Agricultural Advisory Board is composed of a number of county residents, which includes farmers representing newly-formed Agricultural Districts. Board members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Agricultural Advisory Board reviews and approves applications to the Voluntary Agricultural District program. They also advise the Board of County Commissioners on projects, programs, or issues affecting the agricultural economy or way of life within the county.

Voluntary Agricultural Districts promote the pride and tradition of Pitt County Agriculture. Pitt County’s Voluntary Agricultural District Program enhances the identity of the agricultural community by encouraging the voluntary preservation and protection of farmland from non-farm development.

To download a Voluntary Agricultural District Application, CLICK HERE.