REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture received its first agricultural easement in central Ohio.
A ceremonial signing of a deed of agricultural easement between Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey and Louise Warner was held at the Stratford Ecological Center May 17.
The Warner easement consists of 130.62 acres of the agricultural portion of the Stratford Ecological Center, located south of Delaware in Delaware County.
Adjacent to the farm is a 95-acre state nature preserve, which Warner donated to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1991.
The Stratford Ecological Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education of children and adults in understanding the relationships between living things and their environment. Two of its goals are to manage a diversified working farm, demonstrating the lifestyle, techniques, and principles of sustainable agriculture, horticulture and forestry and to promote agroecological research.
Warner’s donation will ensure that the land will remain in agriculture in perpetuity.
Under the state’s Agricultural Easement Donation Program, landowners can donate an agricultural easement on their farm to the department of agriculture, guaranteeing the land will always be a farm.
These easements are voluntary legal agreements restricting development on farmland, with the land remaining on the tax rolls and under private ownership and management.
Five agricultural easements have been donated to the state since the law went into effect in 1999.