106-743.4. Enhanced voluntary agricultural districts; additional benefits.

(a) Property that is subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106-743.2 that remains in effect may receive up to twenty-five percent (25%) of its gross sales from the sale of nonfarm products and still qualify as a bona fide farm that is exempt from zoning regulations under G.S. 153A-340(b). For purposes of G.S. 153A-340(b), the production of any nonfarm product that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recognizes as a "Goodness Grows in North Carolina" product that is produced on a farm that is subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106-743.2 is a bona fide farm purpose. A farmer seeking to benefit from this subsection shall have the burden of establishing that the property's sale of nonfarm products did not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of its gross sales. A county may adopt an ordinance pursuant to this section that sets forth the standards necessary for proof of compliance.

Nothing in this section shall affect the county's authority to zone swine farms pursuant to G.S. 153A-340(b)(3).

(b) A person who farms land that is subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106-743.2 that remains in effect is eligible under G.S. 106-850(b) to receive the higher percentage of cost-share funds for the benefit of that farmland under the Agriculture Cost Share Program established pursuant to Article 72 of this Chapter for funds to benefit that farmland.

(c) State departments, institutions, or agencies that award grants to farmers are encouraged to give priority consideration to any person who farms land that is subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106-743.2 that remains in effect. (2005-390, s. 5; 2011-145, s. 13.22A(cc).)