Sec. 3-75. - Requirements.
To secure county certification as qualifying farmland, a farm must:
   (1)   Be engaged in agriculture as that word is defined in G.S. § 106-581.1; as follows:
   N.C.G.S. § 106-581.1. Agriculture defined.
   For purposes of this Article, the terms "agriculture", "agricultural", and "farming" refer to all of the following:
      (1)   The cultivation of soil for production and harvesting of crops, including but not limited to fruits, vegetables, sod, flowers and ornamental plants.
      (2)   The planting and production of trees and timber.
      (3)   Dairying and the raising, management, care, and training of livestock, including horses, bees, poultry, and other animals for individual and public use, consumption, and marketing.
      (4)   Aquaculture as defined in G.S. 106-758.
      (5)   The operation, management, conservation, improvement, and maintenance of a farm and the structures and buildings on the farm, including building and structure repair, replacement, expansion, and construction incident to the farming operation.
      (6)   When performed on the farm, "agriculture", "agricultural", and "farming" also include the marketing and selling of agricultural products, agritourism, the storage and use of materials for agricultural purposes, packing, treating, processing, sorting, storage, and other activities performed to add value to crops, livestock, and agricultural items produced on the farm, and similar activities incident to the operation of a farm. (1991, c. 81, s. 1; 2005-390, s. 18; 2006-255, s. 6.)
   (2)   Be certified by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as being a farm on which at least two-thirds of the land is composed of soils that:
      a.   Are best suited for providing food, seed, fiber, forage, timber, forestry products, horticultural crops, oil seed crops, livestock and poultry;
      b.   Have good soil qualities;
      c.   Are favorable for all major crops common to the county where the land is located;
      d.   Have a favorable growing season; and
      e.   Receive the available moisture needed to produce high yields for an average of eight out of ten years;
   Have been actively used in agricultural, horticultural or forestry operations as defined by G.S. 105-277.2 (1, 2, 3) during each of the five previous years, measured from the date on which the determination must be made as to whether the land in questions qualifies.
   (3)   Be managed, if highly erodible land exists on the farm, in accordance with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service defined erosion-control practices that are addressed to said highly-erodible land; and
   (4)   Be the subject of a conservation agreement, as defined in G.S. 121-35, between the county and the owner of such land that prohibits non-farm use or development of such land for a period of at least ten years, except for the creation of not more than three lots that meet applicable county zoning and subdivision regulations.
(Ord. of 5-1-2006, § 7, Art. VII-A.; Ord. of 12-3-2012)