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Staff report

[Gold Hill, NC] – Working Lands Trust (WLT), a statewide land trust dedicated to conserving working farms and forests, proudly announces the addition of four outstanding leaders to its Board of Directors. WLT is pleased to welcome Jessica Long, Edward Hunt, Jasmine Locklear, and Dewitt Hardee, whose diverse backgrounds and unwavering dedication to agriculture will strengthen the organization’s mission to safeguard North Carolina’s essential food and fiber industry for posterity.

Jessica Long, hailing from Rowan County, brings invaluable expertise as the passionate proprietor of Church Creek Farms, specializing in local sustainable agriculture. Transitioning from a 13-year nursing career to rejuvenating a century-old farm, Jessica embodies the community-driven agricultural ethos championed by WLT.

Edward Hunt, based in Robeson County, serves as the Sustainability Coordinator at the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at UNCP, offering a unique perspective on addressing regional disparities through collaborative efforts with universities and agricultural organizations. His role underscores the critical nexus of sustainability, economics, and food security.

Jasmine Locklear, also from Robeson County, assumes the role of Agriculture Education and Special Projects Coordinator with the Tribal Agriculture Fellowship. A staunch advocate for agricultural education and indigenous farming rights, Jasmine brings a wealth of experience in horticulture and policy, informed by her tenure with the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations and her work on safeguarding sacred sites.

Dewitt Hardee, a lifelong resident of Johnston County, serves as the Agriculture Programs Coordinator for NC Grange. With a wealth of experience, including directing the NC Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Dewitt’s lifelong commitment to agriculture is exemplified by his stewardship of a 100-acre family farm.

“We are delighted to welcome this esteemed cadre of agricultural leaders to our board,” remarked Michael “Mikey” Fulk, Executive Director of WLT. “Their expertise and comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing North Carolina’s working lands will play a pivotal role in guiding Working Lands Trust as we endeavor to protect our state’s food and fiber industry for future generations.”

For more information about Working Lands Trust and its mission to safeguard North Carolina’s agricultural heritage, please contact Mikey Fulk at 336-460-2562 or mikey@workinglandstrust.org.

About Working Lands Trust:
Established in 2013, Working Lands Trust is North Carolina’s premier statewide land trust dedicated solely to preserving working farms and forests. To date, WLT has conserved nearly 18,000 acres of working lands and remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the economic and cultural backbone of the state, ensuring that North Carolina’s rich agricultural legacy thrives for generations to come.

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