NC House Approves Farm Act
Raleigh, NC – Today, the House approved the North Carolina Farm Act by a bipartisan vote of 75-32 to support agriculture communities across the state.
The Farm Act includes the following key reforms:
Streamline regulations for “Voluntary Agricultural Districts,” which encourage the protection of farmland.
Simplify permitting for hog farmers to operate a farm digester system to capture methane gas for energy use.
Increase punishment and penalties for timber larceny or damaging timber or agriculture commodities.
Allow option for paid leave for overtime earned by N.C. Forest Service employees fighting forest fires.
Waive requirement for trials for minor state forest offenses, such as swimming and camping.
Exempt certain fires, such as for cooking, from open burning laws when specific protections are in place.
Require timber buyers to provide a wood load ticket to sellers of certain wood products.
Empower N.C. Forest Service to enforce laws against cutting, injuring, or removing another's timber.
Require production of electronic records for Department of Agriculture and consumer services record audits.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said, “North Carolina agriculture sustains our communities, provides a source of wellness and good health to North Carolina families, and is an essential driver to the economic health of our state.”
He continued, “The General Assembly acknowledges the vital role that farmers play in our communities and we will continue to support them.”
Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R- Duplin) said, “We know that agriculture is number one in our state, and this bill is a common-sense approach to maintaining a safe, economical, sustainable supply of food in North Carolina.”
The bill is now returned to the Senate.