[Gold Hill, NC] – Working Lands Trust (WLT), a state-wide land trust dedicated solely to preserving working farms and forests, is proud to announce the appointment of four exemplary leaders to its Board of Directors. WLT welcomes Jessica Long, Edward Hunt, Jasmine Locklear, and Dewitt Hardee whose diverse experiences and deep commitment to agriculture will bolster the organization’s mission to preserve North Carolina’s vital food and fiber industry for future generations.

Jessica Long (Rowan County), the passionate owner of Church Creek Farms, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in local sustainable agriculture. Having transitioned from a 13-year nursing career to revitalizing a century-old farm that specializes in cut flowers, Jessica exemplifies the spirit of community-driven agriculture that WLT champions.






Edward Hunt (Robeson County), serving as the Sustainability Coordinator at the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at UNCP, offers a unique perspective on addressing regional disparities through his collaborative work with various universities and agricultural organizations. His role highlights the critical intersection of sustainability, economics, and food security.






Jasmine Locklear (Robeson County) serves as the Agriculture Education and Special Projects Coordinator with the Tribal Agriculture Fellowship. Jasmine, an advocate for agricultural education and indigenous farming rights, joins the board with a rich background in horticulture and policy. Her tenure with the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations and her work on protecting sacred sites underscores the importance of inclusive stewardship of working lands.






Dewitt Hardee (Johnston County), currently the Agriculture Programs Coordinator for NC Grange, previously directed the NC Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. A lifelong resident of Johnston County, he along with his family manage a 100-acre family farm. Hardee joins the board with a life long career dedicated to ensuring NC’s agricultural industry continues and thrives.





“We are thrilled to welcome such a distinguished group of agricultural leaders to our board,” said Michael “Mikey” Fulk, Executive Director of WLT. “Their expertise and broad understanding of what NC is facing in terms of working lands loss will be instrumental in guiding Working Lands Trust in its mission to protect our food and fiber industry for generations to come.”

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