REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation is scheduled to purchase easement rights from 20 farms in 11 counties under the sixth funding round of the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program.
The easements encompass 3,316 acres of farmland.
A total of $3.1 million from the Clean Ohio Fund and $168,000 from USDA’s Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program will be used to purchase agricultural easements on the farms for permanent preservation.
Binding restriction. An agricultural easement is an agreement between the landowner, the state, and the local community to keep a piece of property in agricultural production forever.
Landowners may undertake any agricultural activity permitted under Ohio law, and can sell their farm or pass it along as a gift to others. The restriction prohibiting nonfarm development travels with the land and future owners cannot convert the land to nonfarm uses.
After reviewing and scoring landowner’s applications, the Ohio Farmland Preservation Advisory Board recommended 20 farms for funding. The landowners have agreed to the offers by the department to purchase an agriculture easement on their farm, pending completion of a legal review, title search, boundary review, and any necessary review of third party interests:
200+ applications. This funding cycle, the department received applications from 235 applications in 31 counties offering 34,292 acres for protection.
Since the inception of the program in 2002, funds have been allocated to purchase agricultural easements on 117 farms in 23 counties, totaling 23,616 acres.
A total of $25 million from the $400 million Clean Ohio Fund is dedicated to preserving farmland by purchasing agricultural easements on farms. For more information about farmland preservation, visit www.ohioagriculture.gov/farmland.
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