Clermont Co. scores first easement

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Clermont County farmland owner Marie Holscher recently donated a permanent agricultural easement on her family’s 41.85-acre farm in Monroe Township to the Ohio Department of Agriculture to help assure the farm will never be developed for nonfarm purposes.
This is the first easement donation from Clermont County, and is the 28th statewide donation of an agricultural easement to the department.
National Register. In addition to having woodlands and farm fields, the Holscher farm is also home to the 19th-century Aaron Fagin House, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its local architectural significance.
The Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District will monitor the agricultural easement on behalf of the department to ensure the land is used for agriculture.
“When my husband and I moved to Clermont County in the late 1940s, most of the surrounding properties were working farms. While some of these farms remain, many have been lost over the years,” said Holscher.
Under the department’s Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program, landowners can donate a permanent agricultural easement on their farm to the state.
What they are. Agricultural easements are voluntary legal agreements restricting development on farmland, with the land remaining a tax-paying property under private ownership and management.
Landowners may undertake any agricultural activity permitted under Ohio law, and they can sell their farm or pass it along as a gift to others. The restriction prohibiting nonfarm development travels with the land, ensuring it will never be developed for nonfarm uses. Landowners receive federal tax advantages.
Donated easements that meet Internal Revenue Code criteria are treated as charitable gifts, and landowners may now be eligible to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income in any given year, for a period of up to 16 years.
To date, landowners have donated easements on 28 farms in 16 counties, preserving 3,486 acres statewide.
More information. More information on the department’s Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program is available by calling 614-728-6210 or by visiting www.ohioagriculture.gov/farmland.

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