REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Using Ohio’s newest farmland preservation tool, the Lomer Von Seggern and Thomas and Laurie Von Seggern families have made history by creating the first agricultural security area in the state.
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners, York Township Board of Trustees, and Von Seggern families committed to protect 554 acres of local farmland for a period of 10 years through the Ohio Agricultural Security Area Program.
Program. In the program, one or more landowners of at least 500 adjoining farmland acres may submit a request to their local township trustees and county commissioners for enrollment into an agricultural security area.
If agreed by both groups of local officials through a public hearing, the enrollment prevents extension of water and sewer lines, new roads, housing subdivisions or commercial and industrial facilities within the agricultural security area. Likewise, farmland owners commit their land to only agricultural uses. After the term expires, the agricultural security area can be renewed for another 10 years.
Agricultural security areas are voluntary, respect private property rights, are locally controlled, and protect and encourage agriculture through the preservation of productive farmland areas.
Importance. “Food and agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry, and the Agricultural Security Area Program is one more tool that farmers and communities can use to protect the pillar of that industry, farmland,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture executive director of farmland preservation, Michael Bailey, who pointed out the importance of the program.
Agricultural security areas also provide possible property tax exemptions on new or expanded farm buildings and structures.
In addition, landowners who enroll their land in an agricultural security area will receive two additional points on the Tier One ranking of their applications to the 2006 Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, which are due April 7.
Details. For more information on the Agricultural Security Area Program, call 614-728-6210 or visit www.ohioagriculture.gov/asa.
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