COLUMBUS – Interested landowners will soon be able to save productive farmland through Ohio’s new Agricultural Easement Purchase Program.
The program expects to have its first funding round this spring. To help explain the program, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with American Farmland Trust, Ohio State’s C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, and the Center for Farmland Preservation in Northeast Ohio, will sponsor five regional information sessions.
Regional meetings. The two-hour sessions are designed for farmland owners who may be interested in selling an agricultural easement on their farm. These regional meetings will be offered from 7-9 p.m. on the following dates:
Northwest: Jan. 17 – Northwest OSU Extension District Office, Findlay, co-hosted by Black Swamp Conservancy;
Northeast: Jan. 22 – Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, co-hosted by the Northeastern Ohio Land Trust Alliance and Holden Arboretum;
Southeast: Jan. 24 – Hocking College, Nelsonville, co-hosted by the Appalachia Ohio Heritage and Land Alliance;
Southwest: Jan. 31 – OSU Extension Meeting Room, Xenia, co-hosted by Tecumseh Land Trust; and
Central: Feb. 5 – Hopewell Hall, Central Ohio Technical College, Newark, co-hosted by Granville Land Conservancy
Ohio has earmarked $25 million from the Clean Ohio Fund to preserve farmland through the purchase of agricultural easements, or agreements between the landowner, the state, and the local community to keep a piece of property in agricultural production in perpetuity.
For more information, visit American Farmland Trust’s Web site: www.farmland.org and click on “Around the Country,” where you can search for Ohio. Or, contact Vicki Garrett, Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-728-6211.
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