Commissioners to hear agricultural lands plan

Published 12:04 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Agricultural Advisory Board has been working since fall on a comprehensive farmland preservation plan called the Rowan County Working Agricultural Lands Plan, which will create a set of recommendations and actions to provide a guide for protecting and enhancing agriculture in the county.

At Tuesday’s Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting, the advisory board will present a draft of the plan for the commissioners to consider adopting. The plan needs to be evaluated annually so recommendations can be added, as well as to celebrate achievements.

The executive summary of the plan explains its purpose: “The goal of this Working Agricultural Lands Plan is to reflect the importance of agriculture and assess the opportunities, challenges and issues that are currently facing the industry. This plan provides recommendations, based on citizen input on ways to enhance agriculture, forestry, agribusiness and agri-tourism.”

The advisory board will give a presentation with selected members of the agricultural community and consultants from the Mount Olive University Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, who have assisted in the development of the plan.

In other action, a public hearing will be held to discuss whether the Kesler Newsom Kepley Farmhouse, located at 7255 Bringle Ferry Road, should become a Rowan County historic landmark. Jack Kepley Jr. and William Kepley turned in an application in July with the Rowan County Historic Landmarks Commission for the farmhouse to be placed as a landmark.

On Dec. 13,  the commission voted to recommend that the farmhouse be designated as a landmark.

The commissioners have the final say and will vote whether to approve or deny the landmark designation.