Information sessions available on Ohio’s ag easement purchase program

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Landowners interested in preserving their farmland should plan to attend one of four regional informational meetings this month to learn about the third funding round of the pilot Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program.

The meetings are sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which will disburse $3.125 million from Gov. Bob Taft’s Clean Ohio Fund for the 2004 third funding round.

Farmers, landowners, local officials, land trust representatives, and others interested in farmland preservation are encouraged to attend one of the following meetings.

Southwest. Farmers from the southwest part of the state will meet Jan. 20 at the Warren County Administration Building, 406 Justice Dr., Lebanon.

The meeting runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This meeting is hosted by Tecumseh Land Preservation Association, Three Valley Conservation Trust, and Warren County Planning Commission.

For more information or reservations, call Krista Magaw at 937-767-9490 or Larry Frimerman at 513-524-2150.

Northwest. In northwest Ohio, landowners will meet Jan. 22 at the Bowling Green Elks Lodge #818, 200 Campbell Hill Road, Bowling Green.

Two session are offered, one from 3-5 p.m. and one from 6-8 p.m.

The meeting is hosted by Black Swamp Conservancy. For more information or reservations, call Tim Schetter at 419-872-5263.

Southeast, central. A third location will target landowners in southeast and central Ohio Jan. 27.

Two meetings are at the Fairfield County Courthouse, 210 East Main St. in downtown Lancaster. Meetings run from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

For more information or reservations, call Joe Steiger at the Fairfield County SWCD, 740-653-8154.

Northeast. Farmers from the northeastern part of the state will meet Jan. 29 at the Parkman Township Community House, 16295 Main Market in Parkman.

Two sessions are offered, one from 3-5 p.m. and the other from 6-8 p.m.

The meetings are hosted by the Center for Farmland Preservation in Northeaster Ohio. For more information or reservations, call Amalie Lipstreu at 330-657-2355.

Program details. The deadline for submitting applications for the third funding round is March 31, 2004.

Landowners must apply through a local sponsor of their choice (county commissioners, township trustees, municipal officials, or a land trust) which must submit an application to the Ohio Department of Agriculture on the landowner’s behalf.

The combined application and ranking system used to select farms for funding will be available from the above sponsors, local soil and water conservation districts, and on the agriculture department’s Web page at www.ohioagriculture.gov.

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