Wake County's Keeping the Farm workshop to help landowners preserve their farms

19th Annual Keeping the Farm Workshop, illustration of barn and rolling fields

Once a community filled with farms, Wake County has experienced rapid urban growth over the past 10 years, resulting in the loss of around 23,000 acres of farm and forest land. Even with this shift, Wake County still has 664 active farms with 62,323 acres of farmland.

Faced with ongoing developmental challenges, farmers need help to keep their businesses going. To support local farmers and forest landowners, the Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District is organizing its 19th Annual Keeping the Farm workshop.

“The annual workshop offers experts and resources on everything from environmental regulations to taxes and farm succession planning,” said Wake County Commissioner Donald Mial. “We hope this workshop equips local farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to maintain their farms in this rapidly changing environment.”

This year’s event will take place on March 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wake County Commons Building, located at 4011 Carya Drive in Raleigh.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Property Tax & Land Value
    Braxton Williford and Nicole Kreiser from Wake County’s Tax Administration Office will update farm and forest landowners on the 2024 revaluation and share information on qualifications and requirements of land in its current use as agriculture, horticulture or forestry.
  • Inheriting, Passing Down or Selling Land
    Tammy Brunner, the Wake County Register of Deeds, will provide important insight into the process landowners need to follow when inheriting property or selling land.
  • Farmland Succession
    Andrew Branan from NC State University will explain how trusts, limited liability companies and other agreements operate to manage and transfer interests in land.
  • Conserving the Family Farm
    Leigh Ann Hammerbacher from Triangle Land Conservancy will help explain conservation easements and how they preserve family farms forever. David Adams, local landowner, will also share his personal experience in conserving his family farm.
  • Wildlife Conservation Land Program
    James Sasser from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission will speak about this property tax deferment program for landowners who manage their property for protected wildlife species and habitats.
  • Eminent Domain and Asset Protection
    Attorney Jason Page will educate attendees on issues around liability, asset protection and eminent domain. He will also help participants learn how to implement succession and estate planning.
  • Connecting Farmers and Landowners
    Dr. Noah Ranells from NC State Cooperative Extension will talk about NC FarmLink, a program that connects farmers, landowners and service providers across North Carolina to farm transition resources. NC FarmLink offers a variety of tools and resources, including the NC Farmland Opportunity Database, which can be used to help connect farm seekers and landowners.

If you cannot take part in the event in person, it will be streamed LIVE on Wake County’s YouTube and Facebook pages and then featured on the Keeping the Farm webpage.

Press Release