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Thank You Ryan Manning Prior Haywood County Farmland Preservation Coordinator

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Thank You Ryan Manning Prior Haywood County Farmland Preservation Coordinator

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In the article posted in the Mountaineer Newspaper, dated April 22, 2023, it states "A personnel change has shined the spotlight on Haywood County's Farmland Preservation ordinance- one of the first in the state when it was passed nearly three decades ago". "Farmers showed up at a county commissioners meeting last month to express concerns about a county employee who quit his job- and how that change could impact farmers applying for a state preservation program." ... 00901.html

What the article failed to mention was the beloved Farmland Preservation director who was solely responsible for the program since 2017 and worked with the Farmers of Haywood County in the Farmland Preservation Program for almost 15 years. The farmers want to give him credit for all his hard work and dedication to the program that means so much to farmers and their families and the preservation of their farmland for future generations.

His name is Ryan Manning and at the time of his departure, Haywood had one of the best farmland preservation programs in the state. He was regarded as one of the top people in the state for the program, speaking at numerous events and helping many other counties and organizations.

From 2008-2017 Ryan was one of the people responsible for the Haywood County Farmland Preservation Program and the securing of 11 Farmland Preservation easements through the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Those 11 easements helped to protect from development 1,276 acres of prime farmland as well as assist local farmers and ensure that they could continue their family farms.

From 2017-2023 he was solely responsible for the Farmland Preservation Program. During those 6 years, with of course the help of the incredible farming community and landowners, he was able to secure another 15 easements. Those easements totaled 879 acres of prime farmland. There were another 4 more projects underway that he was responsible for putting together, but those are yet to be determined as to whether they are accepted into the program.

Ryan was also partially responsible for Madison County’s farmland preservation efforts; in that I secured 1 easement with another 1 project underway. If the second easement is secured, that would amount to a total of 51.3 acres in the Spring Creek community.

He was involved with the securing of 12 other conservation easements. These easements though given with the same intent of preventing over development and protecting farms and natural resources, were secured through means other than the NCDA-ADFPTF, including generous landowner donations, for a total of 307 acres of farmland, riverbank and woodland.

In 2019 Ryan got to assist Mr. Joseph Morrow and his wife Mrs. Sue Morrow with the easement process as they worked with Haywood Community College and established the Joe and Sue Morrow Teaching Forest. A wonderful legacy for the Morrows as well as a great resource for HCC’s many natural resource management classes.

Since 2017 he was solely responsible for Haywood County’s Voluntary Agricultural District and Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District programs. This program is another tool for the farming community to help protect their farms, potentially serving as an introduction to the more involved and official conservation easement programs. These programs together have over 100 members of the agricultural community and over 7,000 acres of farm and woodland protected from development.

Thank you Ryan Manning for your dedication and accomplishments for our Haywood County Farmers and for protecting their farms for future generations. You will never be forgotten and your shoes will be very hard to fill.

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