MANSFIELD — December 14 marked the Richland Soil & Water Conservation District’s (Richland SWCD) first completed easement in the Farmland Preservation Program also known as The Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).
Cass and Lisa Gwirtz of Triple Creek Farm applied to the program and their farm has been approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) Office of Farmland Preservation in conjunction with Richland Soil & Water Conservation District, who acts as the local sponsor for the program. This means their farm is protected by a perpetual easement from future commercial development and will remain a farm for generations to come. To learn more about the importance of the Farmland Preservation Program to the Gwirtz family, please visit https://richlandswcd.net/services/agriculture/richland-swcd.
The 2022 Farmland Preservation Program for Richland County is open and Richland SWCD will accept applications thru March 1, 2022.
If you would like to consider the advantages of preserving your farmland for future generations, there are two options.
The Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) provides funding to farmland owners for placing an agricultural easement on their property. Monies are issued for up to 75 percent of the appraised value of a farm’s development rights. A payment cap has been set at $2,000 per acre, with a maximum of $500,000 per farm. All easement transactions are recorded on the property deed and transfer with the land to successive owners. Funds from the purchase of these easements are invested in the local economy by the landowners who use them by expanding their farming operations, purchasing new equipment, reducing debt, adding conservation practices, planning for retirement, sending their children to college or for other purposes. When the state purchases a farmland easement, the proceeds are plowed into Ohio’s economy.
The Agricultural Easement Donation Program (AEDP) is a tool for landowners to protect their farm’s soils, natural resource features, and scenic open space. It provides landowners the opportunity to donate the easement rights on viable farmland to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). The department assures the land remains in agricultural use forever. The standard cost for services needed to secure the easement (i.e., title examination, title policy, escrow, closing and recordation) are covered by ODA. All easement transactions are permanent. They are recorded on the property deed and will transfer with the land to successive owners.
For additional information on the Farmland Preservation program visit the Richland SWCD website at https://richlandswcd.net/services/agriculture/richland-swcd or contact Matt at [email protected] or 419-747-8687 for details.
Call 419-747-8686 or go to http://richlandswcd.net/ to learn how to volunteer and about additional programs and services provided by Richland SWCD.
The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District develops, implements, and assists landowners, government agencies and our partners with a wide range of natural resource conservation programs.
Programs and assistance of the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District are available without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status.