Ohio landowners in 57 counties eligible for ag easement funds

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Clean Ohio Fund easement for woods
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy received Clean Ohio funding on behalf of Mill Creek MetroParks for this wooded property, which will be added to the nearby Egypt Swamp Preserve, a 58-acre public nature preserve. (Western Reserve Land Conservancy photo)

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Ten land trusts, three counties, one township and nine soil and water conservation districts will receive funding to help preserve farmland across the state.

These organizations will receive the latest round of farmland preservation allocations from the Clean Ohio Fund to select, close and monitor easements under the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. Program sponsor organizations will accept applications from Ohio landowners interested in selling an agricultural easement on their farms. (Scroll down for a list of sponsor organizations and awards.)

A total of $6,301,351 is available in this funding round.

Local sponsors have been certified to accept applications in 57 counties. Interested landowners should contact the certified local sponsor in their county for application details.

How it works

The program allows landowners to voluntarily sell easements on their farms to the state of Ohio. The easement requires the farm remain permanently in agriculture production. Selected farms must be 40 acres or more, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have the support of their local government and not lay directly in the path of development.

Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operations.

Funding for the program is derived from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

To date, when combined with easements from all programs, 354 family farms in 54 counties have collectively preserved more than 59,000 acres in agricultural production.

2016 Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
Local Sponsor Certification Funding Summary

Local sponsor/Counties/Award

Appalachia Ohio Alliance:
Athens, Franklin, Hocking, Pickaway, Ross, Vinton – $258,863

Belmont County SWCD:
Belmont   – $112,520

Black Swamp Conservancy
Fulton, Hancock, Lucas, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood – $521,943

Cardinal Land Conservancy
Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland – $353,938

Champaign County SWCD
Champaign  – $191,916

Delaware County Commissioners
Delaware  – $202,697

Elizabeth Township – Miami SWCD
Miami – $391,032

Fairfield County Commissioners
Fairfield – $394,500

Fayette County SWCD
Fayette – $235,476

Lake County SWCD
Lake – $172,714

Licking County SWCD
Licking – $352,877

Logan County Land Trust
Logan – $247,942

Madison County Commissioners
Madison  – $476,079

Marion County SWCD
Marion – $279,980

Montgomery SWCD
Montgomery  – $255,450

Philander Chase – Owl Creek Conservancy
Knox – $176,190

Tecumseh Land Trust
Clark, Greene – $466,327

Three Valley Conservation Trust
Butler, Preble – $433,538

Warren County SWCD
Warren – $158,496

West Central Ohio Land Conservancy
Allen, Mercer – $299,099

Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Wayne – $319,774

Total Local Sponsors: 21  Total Individual Counties: 57   Total award: $6,301,351

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Yet another deceitful program of agenda 21 to take property from individuals and give it to the governments “for the benefit of all people”….why would people sell their private property so cheaply to the government?? Because they were gullible enough to be bamboozelled like the Germans were when they voted Hitler in. This “sound-good” program is rooted in pure evil, as world organizations try anything they can to destroy our constitutional rights to push their communistic-based attempt of a world-wide government…yeah, they may say you can continue to farm today, but what about future generations who are bound by what older generations have signed over to a changing government?? Dont consider signing ANYTHING like this if you trueley care for both the future of our children or government. And to think this is paid from taxpayer money. Goes to show you the absurd government waste and over taxation of landowners.

    • On average, 394 acres of farmland are lost to development every single day in the state of Ohio. Only 5% of Ohio’s farmland was protected as of 2013, leaving the other 95% vulnerable to loss through development. Once that land has been developed, it can never be used for farming again, which is a tragedy considering that these properties contained some of the world’s richest soil. Ohio has one of the slowest populations growths in the entire country, and yet our farmland is being developed for residential and commercial use at one of the highest rates in the country. Programs like this one are necessary to ensure that we do not lose ALL of our farmland to development. Sure, in the short term a family farm could sell their land to developers for far more than what this easement purchase program could offer, but that would be a very short-sighted decision. Considering the fact that agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry and supplies one in six jobs in the state, the preservation of farmland is an economic incentive as well as a land conservation one.

  2. Your comment is exactly what I meant-you are correct in the need to preserve farmland and that is what is being exploited-the”sound-good”program. There are many ways to place permanent easements/land utilization that DO NOT involve government buy-outs….pipelines, utilities, and many other companies have multitudes of legal leases to prove this. Selling land rights to the government opens the door for disaster to future generations similar to the sale of coal rights and mineral rights years ago by unsuspecting landowners devastated many present-day owners of the properties. When you study the motives of the world-organizations that pressure local governments it the real agenda falls into place…the “wetland” corridor maps show some of the extent of their plans…preserving farmland is admirable-but do it the smart way-make your own limitations-dont sell out to a government with a future agenda that wants to manipulate future generations..it is the sellout of our future generation. Preserving farmland CAN be done without government intrusions.

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