Morrow County gets first ag easement

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – A Morrow County landowner, Thomas Weiler, recently donated a permanent agricultural easement on his 399-acre farm in Harmony Township to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, to help assure that the farm will never be developed for non-farm purposes.
First in the county. This is the first easement donation from Morrow County and is the single largest donation of an agricultural easement to the department.
The Weiler farm, which is located outside of Mount Gilead, raises hogs, corn, soybeans, and wheat.
The Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District will monitor the agricultural easement to ensure the land is used for agriculture.
“Preserving Morrow County farmland assures the continuation of a strong agricultural industry,” said Weiler. “People need to understand that our viable, productive farmland is an irreplaceable natural resource and is already economically ‘developed.'”
About the program. Under the department’s Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program, landowners can donate a permanent agricultural easement on their farm to the state.
Agricultural easements are voluntary legal agreements restricting development on farmland, with the land remaining on the tax rolls and 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 non-farm development travels with the land, ensuring it would never be developed for non-farm uses.
Tax advantages. Landowners can receive federal tax advantages from donating permanent agricultural easements to the department.
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.
To date, landowners have donated agricultural easements on 24 farms totaling 3,085 acres statewide.
Learn more. More information on the department’s Agricultural Easement Donation Program is available by calling 614-728-6210.

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