At its meeting on Monday, the State of Ohio Controlling Board considered approval of a capital appropriation in the amount of $376,664.

That amount will now be heading to Delaware County for purchase of an agricultural easement on some 188.332 acres of land.

Through the voluntary Farmland Preservation Program, a local sponsor — in the case of Delaware County, the Delaware County Commissioners — disburses payments to landowners for purchase of such an easement, which is a legal agreement restricting all non-agriculaturla uses on the land. The property remains under private control and ownership, and the restriction “runs with the land” in binding future owners as well.

This landowner is among 61 landowners selected for funding under the 2017 funding of the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP). The AEPP is administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture – Office of Farmland Preservation and is part of the Clean Ohio Fund that was renewed by Ohio voters in November 2008. For the 2017 AEPP funding round, 137 farms applied to the program and a total of 61 farms statewide were selected to receive funding through the sale of an agricultural easement to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

When combined with easements from all programs, 480 family farms in 60 Ohio counties have collectively preserved more than 77,500 acres in agricultural production.

On behalf of the Commissioners, the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District (DSWCD) coordinates the application process and annual monitoring of easements. Once all pending easements have been finalized, over 1,500 acres in Delaware County will be under preservation through the LAEPP program.

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