Beginning in June, CCP partnered with the Caswell Cooperative Extension Center to conduct an agricultural inventory of Caswell County (click on image for .pdf of full report). The project has resulted in a report and collection of maps that illustrate the state of agriculture in the county and attempt to identify opportunities for agriculture-related economic development.
The inventory includes basic data, including annual rainfall, soils, and slopes. But it also addresses other aspects of agriculture including sector performance (compared to the central Piedmont region), crop trends in terms of acreage and value, as well as ag-related employment.The report includes spatial analysis of agricultural uses in the county, maps of agricultural land use productivity, preserved farmland, properties actively involved in Extension programming, and areas of overlap with soil quality and slopes that indicate optimal growing conditions.
A final addition to the inventory is a map intended for print and distribution at visitors’ centers and area businesses. This map details agritourism activities within Caswell County: farms that host special events, pick-your-owns, roadside stands, and other public cultural and commercial experiences. While information about many of the farms included had been publicly available before this map, much of it was several years out of date. Brief telephone surveys helped determine if they were still active farms and wished to be included.
The agritourism map also includes options for eating, bed and breakfasts and recreation opportunities, each of which are described in some detail on the reverse of the map with contact information, hours of operation, and any special considerations related to the site. Printed on A2, the map will be a folding guide to a day or weekend trip to the county.
In terms of next steps, both Cooperative Extension and the Caswell County Planning Department have expressed a desire for assistance from with a Comprehensive Land Use Plan. As a planning document, the Caswell County Agricultural Inventory contributes a base of land use analysis to begin a comprehensive planning process.