PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Black Swamp Conservancy, along with the U.S. and Ohio Departments of Agriculture, has entered into a permanent farmland preservation agreement with a Seneca County landowner.
The agreement — known as an agricultural easement — ensures that this 120-acre farm is devoted exclusively to agriculture, forever.
Located north of Tiffin, Riley Farm produces corn, soybeans and wheat. This Ohio Century Farm has been in Riley family since 1864. The property features the original barns dating to the late 1800s, which the Rileys are working to restore.
Landowners Tim and Phyllis Riley have taken steps to improve the natural habitat on their farm. They maintain more than 10 acres of woods, and, in cooperation with the Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District, have planted four acres of grasslands.
They also employ best management practices such as filter strips and conservation tillage. To date, there are 17 farms covering 2,500 acres permanently protected with agricultural conservation easements in the Tiffin area.
The Conservancy is in the process of protecting another nine farms totaling more than 920 acres in this region. Agricultural easements do not result in a change in ownership, but require that the use of the property be limited primarily to agriculture.
The agreements provide permanent protection of the land; they are binding on the landowner who signs the document and on every future owner of that land.