Knox County landowner donates development rights to save farm


REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Knox County landowner Norma Jean Ronk donated a permanent agricultural easement on her 139-acre farm to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

With the easement in place, the farm can never be developed for non-farm purposes.

Donation. This is the second easement donation from Knox County in the last year.

The Ronk farm, which is located outside of Fredericktown, primarily rotates the production of corn and soybeans.

The Knox Soil and Water Conservation District will monitor the agricultural easement to ensure the land is used for agriculture.

Under the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Easement Donation Program, landowners can donate an agricultural easement on their farm to the state, a county, municipality, township, or a land trust.

These are voluntary legal agreements restricting development on farmland, with the land remaining on the tax rolls and under private ownership and management.

Landowners. 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 deed restriction prohibiting non-farm development is permanent.

Donated easements that meet Internal Revenue Code criteria are treated as charitable gifts, and interested landowners should seek professional advice from an accountant or attorney.

Since the legislature in January 2000 gave the department the authority to hold agricultural easements, more than 12,600 acres have been secured under permanent easement, including 17 donations totaling 2,278 acres.

Information. An information packet on the department’s Agricultural Easement Donation Program is available by calling 614-728-6210.


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