In 2005, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy established the Farmland Program to preserve working agricultural lands important to the natural and cultural heritage of Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.
Protecting Local Family Farms
We build relationships with interested landowners, working with them to structure conservation easement transactions that protect their land and solve their financial challenges. In some cases, we can raise funds to bargain purchase conservation easements on farms to protect them from being converted from productive farmland to real estate development. Sale proceeds from these easement transactions provide capital to the landowner, which they can invest in their farm enterprise.
Gifts and Bequests of Farm Tracts
SAHC accepts the donation of farm tracts. This ensures permanent protection of a farm and can strengthen our Farmland Access Service. We also accept donations of farms with a life estate, so you can donate your farm to SAHC now and continue to live on it and enjoy it for the rest of your life.
SAHC is striving to build a network of productive farms in western North Carolina and east Tennessee that are available for farmers to grow food and earn a living for their families, and that will be protected forever from loss by conversion to real estate development. Through this work, we aim to make farmland more accessible to beginning farmers, for whom lack of access to farmland is a primary barrier to farming.
The SAHC Community Farm is a model for productive farming and environmental health, home to an innovative Farm Incubator Program, educational Discovery Trail, Education and Event Center, Stream Restoration project, and Shortleaf Pine Restoration project.
We’ve gathered a selection of links and resources available from SAHC and our partners in the region, which may be helpful for beginning or improving your agricultural endeavors. Check them out!