Section .0100 - General Provisions

Link to law: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title 02 - agriculture and consumer services/chapter 58 - agricultural development and farmland preservation trust fund/chapter 58 rules.html
Published: 2015

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CHAPTER 58 - AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FARMLAND

PRESERVATION TRUST FUND

 

SECTION .0100 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

02 NCAC 58 .0101             PURPOSE

This Chapter describes the operating procedures for the

Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Advisory

Committee and the Chair under the guidance of the North Carolina Department of

Agriculture and Consumer Services implementing the Agricultural Development and

Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for continuation and preservation of

agriculture in North Carolina.  Procedures and guidelines for participating

applicants are also described.  The purpose of the program is to fund projects

to encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural, and

forestlands to foster the growth, development, and sustainability of family

farms.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. December 1, 2007.

02 NCAC 58 .0102             FUNDING

PRIORITIES

The Commissioner, with the advice of the Advisory Committee shall:

(1)           annually publish a list of funding priorities which

he will follow in awarding grants for agricultural, horticultural and

forestland preservation projects and agricultural development programs that

meet the requirements of G.S. 106-744 and the rules in this Chapter;

(2)           request proposals to address specific funding

priorities or to encourage specific farmland preservation projects or

agricultural development programs intended to encourage farmland preservation

and protect the State's agricultural economy, stabilize and maintain local tax

bases, and optimally use natural resources; and

(3)           work cooperatively with other government agencies

as well as agricultural, conservation, and rural entities to develop plans to

maximize agricultural, horticultural, and forestland preservation efforts.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. December 1, 2007.

 

02 NCAC 58 .0103             DEFINITIONS

The following terms used in this Chapter have the following

meanings:

(1)           "Advisory Committee" means the

Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Advisory

Committee.

(2)           "ADFPTF," "ADFP Trust Fund," or

"Trust Fund" means the Agricultural Development and Farmland

Preservation Trust Fund.

(3)           "Agricultural conservation easement" is

defined in G.S. 106-744(b).

(4)           "Applicant" means a nonprofit

conservation organization or county who applies for funds from the ADFP Trust

Fund.

(5)           "Chair" or "Commissioner" means

the Chair of the Advisory Committee who is also the Commissioner of

Agriculture.

(6)           "Department" or "NCDA&CS"

means the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(7)           "Landowner" means any natural person or

other legal entity, including a governmental agency, who holds either an estate

or freehold (such as a fee simple absolute or a life estate) or an estate for

years or from year to year in land, but does not include an estate at will or

by sufferance in land.

(8)           "Nonprofit conservation organization" is

any nonprofit organization that provides assistance to landowners to protect

their lands and can legally hold agricultural conservation easements.

(9)           "Project" means an agricultural

conservation easement, conservation agreement, or an agricultural development

program for which an applicant is requesting funds to complete.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. December 1, 2007.

 

02 NCAC 58 .0104             reserved for future codification

 

02 NCAC 58 .0105             EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS

(a)  Applicants for funding from the ADFPTF shall submit two

unbound complete applications suitable for photocopying. Applications must be

sent by Fed-Ex, UPS, certified mail, or hand-delivered to: NCDA&CS, NCADFP

Trust Fund at 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

(b)  Two separate applications are online at http://www.ncadfp.org/

or available from the Department as noted in Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this

Rule.

(c)  To be eligible for consideration for funding for

agricultural conservation easements or agricultural agreements, applicants

shall complete the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation

Application Form for Conservation Easements and Agricultural Agreements which

contain the following information:

(1)           identifying information;

(2)           a description of the type of organization

of the applicant;

(3)           project affiliations, matching funds, and

partnerships;

(4)           whether funds are for an agricultural

conservation easement or an agricultural agreement and the term years;

(5)           current land value assessment, requested

amount of funds, estimated easement value, project completion date;

(6)           operation management plans;

(7)           values relevant to the easement;

(8)           agricultural, horticultural, or forestry property

inventory;

(9)           what transition plans are in place to

continue operations for the future;

(10)         threats of conversion;

(11)         conservation and environmental concerns; and

(12)         listed attachments.

(d)  To be eligible for consideration for funding for agricultural

development programs, applicants shall complete the Agricultural Development

and Farmland Preservation Application Form for Public and Private Enterprise

Programs, which contain the following information:

(1)           identifying information;

(2)           a description of the type of organization

of the applicant;

(3)           project affiliations, matching funds, and

partnerships;

(4)           a description of goals, target audience,

and success measurements; and

(5)           listed attachments.

(e)  Each completed application shall be evaluated by the

staff based on the information provided in the application and in accordance

with the ADFPTF criteria described in this Rule.

(f)  The staff shall review all applications for

completeness.  If an application is incomplete after the application deadline,

the applicant may be asked to reapply for the next grant cycle, which will be

publicly announced by the Commissioner on an annual basis.

(g)  During the review and evaluation of proposals, the

staff shall report to the Commissioner on any site visits that may be required

for full consideration of the grant proposal. 

(h)  The Advisory Committee shall review the project

evaluations and other relevant data prepared by the applicant and by ADFPTF

staff.  The Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the Commissioner

on projects for funding.

(i)  The Commissioner and Advisory Committee shall consider

the relative needs of the farmland preservation project and determine the

proportion of available funds to be allocated for each eligible project.

(j)  Grants shall be awarded contingent on the availability

of sufficient funds to do so.  Funds shall be conveyed to grantees through

contracts with the Trust Fund.  If the Commissioner determines that grant funds

are not being used for the purpose for which they were awarded, the Trust Fund

may cease making payments under the grant schedule until the problem has been

resolved or may demand immediate return of any unspent money and interest from

the grant.  Grantees must reimburse the Trust Fund any funds that are

determined to have not been spent for the purpose for which they were granted. 

Grantees must return any grant money which remains unspent at the conclusion of

the grant project, with any interest earned on grant money.

(k)  The following general criteria shall be used to

evaluate conservation easement or agricultural agreement projects only:

(1)           parcel information;

(2)           planning for the future; and

(3)           site visits.

(l)  The following general criteria shall be used to

evaluate agricultural development programs only:

(1)           project description;

(2)           project implementation; and

(3)           applicant interview.

(m)  The Commissioner and Advisory Committee shall also

consider the following factors when evaluating projects:

(1)           the geographic distribution of projects;

(2)           the presence or absence of other funding

sources;

(3)           the level of compliance with prior grant

agreements;

(4)           the amount of funds available;

(5)           the amount of funds requested;

(6)           priority funding map; and

(7)           other relevant information in the

application.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. January 1, 2008.

 

02 NCAC 58 .0106             GRANT AGREEMENT

(a)  Upon approval, a written agreement shall be executed

between the grant recipient(s) and the Commissioner.

(b)  The agreement shall define the Commissioner's and grant

recipient's responsibilities and obligations, the project period, project scope

and the amount of grant assistance.

(c)  The approved application and support documentation

shall become a part of the grant agreement.

(d)  The grant agreement may be amended upon mutual consent

and approval by the Commissioner and the grant recipient(s).  The grant

recipient(s) shall submit a written request to the Commissioner.

(e)  Projects may not begin until the Commissioner and grant

recipient(s) sign the agreement.

(f)  The agreement shall include a requirement that, in any

agricultural conservation easement funded by the ADFPTF, the State of North Carolina shall have the right to enforce the easement if the grantee of the easement

fails to do so.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. January 1, 2008.

 

02 NCAC 58 .0107             REPORTING

(a)  Grant recipients shall submit written progress reports

at six-month intervals or upon completion of the project, whichever is sooner. 

Written reports shall describe the status of the project, progress toward

achieving program objectives, notable occurrences and any problems encountered

and steps taken to overcome the problems.  Upon completion of the project, the

successful applicant must make a final written report to the Commissioner which

shall include project accomplishments and benefits, all expenditures by line

item as established in the project budget, and verification of the number of

hours or money in matching funds.

(b)  The staff shall review the progress reports for

completeness, which shall include a showing of how the project is meeting its

stated goals and performance standards.  If the staff finds that the report is

deficient in showing how the project is meeting its stated goals and

performance standards, the grantee shall be notified of the deficiency and must

provide a changed and corrected report within 30 working days.  If a corrected

or changed report is not received within 30 working days, the Trust Fund may

withhold the next grant payment.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. January 1, 2008.

 

02 NCAC 58 .0108             RECORDS

Successful applicants must keep financial and other records

of the project for a period of three years, following completion of the

project, or until audited.  The records shall be made available to the Commissioner

at his request.  Recipients shall contact Trust Fund staff at the North

Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services before destroying

records or in the event that records are destroyed.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-744;

Eff. December 1, 2007.