COLUMBUS – Ohio has one of the highest proportions of prime agricultural soils in the nation. And now, the focus on protecting that land could shift to new areas, thanks to a new report from Ohio State University’s Center for Farmland Policy Innovation.
Jill Clark, director of the center, and Heide S. Martin, the center’s planning and policy coordinator, discusses the report, Planning on Farming Ohio? A Model for Understanding the Opportunities for Innovation, at the eighth annual Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg Nov. 1.
“We came up with this model to help identify areas in the state where there’s the most need for farmland protection programming,” Clark said.
Greatest need. “While all counties have some level of need, the question is, which counties have the greatest need given the existing resources, the existing activity and the existing development pressure in their areas?”
To do this, Clark and Martin examined each of Ohio’s 88 counties and gave numeric values to several indicators, weighting them according to their importance in affecting farmland preservation.
To determine the need for farmland preservation in each county, the researchers determined:
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