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The State of North Carolina passed the Farmland Preservation Enabling Act in 1985, authorizing counties to establish farmland preservation programs, including agricultural districts. In 1992, Orange County adopted a Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance, creating the Agricultural Preservation Board (APB) and procedures for establishing Voluntary Agricultural Districts.
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Recognition - the County will place signs along public roads at the property line of participating farms that identify your farm as an Orange County Voluntary Agricultural District. These signs will tell passersby that the farm owner is committed to the preservation of the agricultural way of life in Orange County. Learn more about all the benefits on our Voluntary Agricultural District Benefits page.
To become an Agricultural District, a farm must first be certified as Qualifying Farmland. Learn about this process on our Qualifying Farmland Certification page.
The Agricultural Preservation Board (APB) is composed of a number of County residents, including farmers representing Agricultural Districts. APB members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The APB reviews and approves applications to the Agricultural Districts program. They also make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on other issues related to the preservation of farmland in Orange County.