To promote agricultural values and general welfare of the county by increasing identity and pride in the agricultural community and its way of life; encourage the economic and financial health of agriculture; and 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.
  • Land enrolled in the program will not be assessed fees or required to connect to water and sewer service if they plan not to use the service.

Who Qualifies
Landowners qualify for inclusion as a Voluntary Agricultural District if they meet the following conditions:

  1. The farm property must be participating in the Stokes County farm present-use-value taxation program or meets these qualifications.
Minimum amount of land required:
5 acres for horticulture use
10 acres for general agriculture use
20 acres for forestry use

  1. The property must have a conservation plan certified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or NC Forest Service.

  • Prohibits non-farm use or development of land for 10 years.
  • Maximum creation of three lots within 10-year period.
  • The property owner may at any time voluntarily revoke agreement by submitting a written notice to Ag. Advisory

Agriculture Advisory Board

Manley Stovall, Chair             
Mark Pendleton, Vice Chair
Dale Hartman, Treasurer
Tommy Durham, Secretary
Michael Joyce, Member
Robert P. Lindsay, Member
Grant Christian, Member

For More Information Contact

Stokes Soil & Water Conservation District
336-593-2846 ext. 3

Application for Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program

Voluntary Farmland Preservation Ordinance

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To contact us:

Phone: 336-593-2846 ext. 3
Fax: 336-593-9232
Email: janice.pack@nc.nacdnet.net