ODA Announces New Farmland Preservation Commitments Around Central Ohio
More Ohio farmland will remain Ohio farmland. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is proud to announce 295 acres have been added to the Farmland Preservation Program. Curtis N. Bechtel in Knox County and Ronald S. Rickly in Fairfield County become the 7th and 8th Ohio farmers to join the program this year.
Agricultural land is a key part of Ohio’s landscape. Preserving this land is essential. An agricultural easement in Farmland Preservation is a voluntary agreement between the landowner and ODA, where the landowner agrees to perpetually maintain the land predominately in agricultural use. In exchange, the landowner is either compensated or may be entitled to a tax deduction.
In partnership with ODA, local sponsors Owl Creek Conservancy and Fairfield County Board of Commissioners respectively played significant roles in securing this agreement.
Since the Office of Farmland Preservation began in 1998, 688 farms totaling 103,915 acres have entered into agreements. This enables Ohio to continually be a top producer, aiding not just Ohioans, but all Americans.
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 and our agriculture industry is preserved for future generations.