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In the woods · On the farm · By the water
Farms and land in Carteret County offer a unique span of diversity of purposes ranging from farming to tourism-related businesses to residential development. Carteret County land encompasses 1,341 square miles and includes both the largest farm east of the Mississippi River and a thriving tourism economy based along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound. Many of its 69,000 residents commute to work at nearby Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Its 63,000 acres in farm land is held by 158 farmers, but 57,000 acres of that is included in Open Grounds Farm. Seventy-one percent of the farm land is used for crops and 20% for woodlands, which provide hunting for bears, deer and turkey. Carteret County land is in the Atlantic Flyway making waterfowl hunting for redheads, pintails and black ducks a favorite pastime. Some farms have built impoundments to add to the experience. Great offshore and inshore fishing has made it a world class recreational fishing hot spot. Fishers from around the world take part in the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Fort Macon, built in the early 1800s, Shackleford Banks ponies and historic Beaufort are just a few of its cultural treasures. Carteret County Schools provides K-12 public education, and Carteret Community College opens the door to higher learning.