Guide helps landowners preserve farmland

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COLUMBUS – The success of the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program and the creation of Agricultural Security Areas have increased the profile of Ohio’s farmland preservation efforts.
Now Ohioans have a single resource that outlines those and other state, federal and local initiatives to conserve and protect their land: American Farmland Trust’s new Ohio Agricultural Landowners Guide to Conservation and Sustainability.
What’s in it. The guide summarizes government programs at all levels and includes examples of how land trusts, progressive planners and entrepreneurial farmers can make the best use of agricultural land. And it offers suggestions on getting involved in state and local land-use policy.
Most of the information in the Guide is not new. But American Farmland Trust is the first to compile it all in a single resource that includes contact information for all programs. A highlight is concise information about programs throughout Ohio such as the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, Agricultural Security Areas, Current Agricultural Use Valuation and Agricultural Districts.
Enrollment. The Guide features enrollment information for those initiatives, as well as the full range of federal agricultural conservation programs.
The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provided a grant to produce the full-color guide and present the information to landowners in a series of meetings throughout Ohio from November to March 2007.
The 16-page booklet is the sixth such guide American Farmland Trust has published around the country. The others cover Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, South Carolina and the Rocky Mountain states.
Get one. For a copy, call 614-469-9877. A PDF version is available at www.farmland.org/programs/states/documents/AFT_OhioLandownersGuide_2006.pdf.

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