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The Dirt: Helllloooo 2020!
The Dirt: Helllloooo 2020!

Helllllooooo 2020!!  It is a new year and that means new adventures on the horizon here at ODA!  I’m sure you all know the big events we’re involved with every year at the Department – Ohio State Fair and Farm Science Review – but we have so much more in the works.  All.  The.  Time.  This seemed like a good place to share a few of our favorite upcoming projects that you probably don’t know about. 

 

Farm #500 will be preserved through our Farmland Preservation program.  This is big deal.  Really big.  The program does exactly what its title says, it preserves farmland so it remains a farm.  So often, farming is a family business.  Generations pass it on to the next, again and again.  The Farmland Preservation program gives families the opportunity to permanently protect their land and ensure it will be passed on to future generations.   It’s done through partnerships with landowners, local government, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and land trusts.  Our 500th easement will be granted in February.  Where is it??  That’s our little secret for now.  Keep an eye on our social media – details will be coming shortly.  We’re doing this announcement up right!

 

Did you know we have farmland out back here at ODA?  Yep, we sit on 120 acres.  Since we’re agriculturally-minded, we think that land should be put to good use.  So, we are creating a Farm Educational Center, a working farm to be used as an educational resource for the community.  Director Pelanda and our Children’s Initiatives team are working closely with the Stratford Ecological Center on this project.  The farm will offer a hands-on learning experience for visitors and also be a site for research projects.  The center will offer enrichment programming to benefit children and schools.  Target opening date is summer 2020!

 

We have one carryover from 2019 that is a must to talk about – H2Ohio!  Water quality is where it’s at, folks.  Governor DeWine rolled out his H2Ohio water quality initiative in November, now it’s time for farmers to get involved.  Agriculture received $30 million, funding that will go to farmers in the 14 counties of the Maumee River Watershed to implement conservation practices.  We are so excited to help farmers get started in the program - this is an incredible opportunity for farmers to be part of the solution to improve our water quality in Ohio.   We’re collaborating with OACI on a series of informational meetings in Northwest Ohio.  We would love to see you there!