Byline: Michael Hewlett
David A. Smith stood under a barn one day last week watching his cows munch on their feedstock.
He and his son, Reid Smith, oversee more than 200 cows on Red Acres Farm, a dairy operation in southern Davidson County. They farm about 600 acres, half of which they lease. The farm has been in Smith's family since 1945, and Smith would like to pass the farm on to his son one day, just as his father did for him.
But he also faces development pressures. Much of the farmland around him isn't active, and the land that he leases might one day be sold to developers. There are subdivisions nearby, bringing with them the demand for shopping and more roads.
"A lot of it is being developed for houses and some for industry," he said.
It's a trend across the state. North Carolina lost 1,000 farms in 2005 and has lost …