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RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 25) – A recent $308,000 grant to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will help hog farmers in eastern North Carolina make some important conservation efforts.

The N.C. Department of Justice grant was announced by state Attorney General Roy Cooper on Oct. 22. The money is part of an agreement reached in 2000 with Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, to enhance North Carolina’s environment, particularly the state’s river basins.

The grant funds the installation of field borders and buffers, which will help improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat in the region. It will also assist educational and scientific programs for farmers on the compatibility of water quality and wildlife habitat with successful agri-business practices.

“This has been a great cooperative effort, resulting in good program relations, good habitat and benefits to water quality,” said Don Hayes, private lands coordinator with the Wildlife Management Division of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “This grant will help keep the program running for a few more years at the same level, with expansion to some additional farms.”

Among goals for this funding:
Install field borders and buffers on 11 hog farms to form a 7,000-acre cooperative for water quality improvements and wildlife habitat enhancement
Demonstrate that water quality, wildlife and farming operations can coexist
Document the effects of field borders and buffers on water quality and biodiversity
Continue to maintain the Murphy-Brown Complex in Bladen County as a showcase farm

For more information, go online to Welcome to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission or call (919) 707-0058.
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