When a landowner proposes to sell an easement to Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), the landowner must be able to demonstrate that retaining that farm in agricultural production in perpetuity is compatible with the township's or county's community plan and that it is not in the direct path of development. ODA encourages local governments to identify areas where agriculture is the predominant land use and where landowners want to remain in farming and take steps to preserve blocks of land to support Ohio's # 1 industry, food and agriculture.
The landowner takes the initiative to enter into the program by contacting a Local Sponsor and works with the local sponsor during the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) landowner application period.
Landowners interested in other programs offered by the Office of Farmland Preservation, please see Agricultural Easement Donation Program (AEDP) and Agricultural Security Areas (ASA) for more information.
Below you will find information about Local Sponsors and samples of landowner documents used to acquire the LAEPP agricultural easement.
Find a Local Sponsor:
The Local Sponsor completes and submits the application on the landowner’s behalf. The local sponsor can be a municipal corporation, county, township, soil and water conservation district or charitable organization that has been certified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
A landowner cannot submit an application to sell an agricultural easement directly to ODA. The Ohio legislature requires applications to be submitted by a Local Sponsor on behalf of the landowner in order for the nominated property to be considered for agricultural easement purchase.
Landowners may petition a different Local Sponsor to obtain certification. For more information on Local Sponsors, see the Local Sponsor resource page.
Please click here to find a local sponsor in your county.
NOTE: If your farm happens to span across more than one county your farm will be designated as a multi-county farm. Landowners must apply under the county with the majority of the farm’s acreage.
Key Landowner Documents:
All LAEPP easements will utilize key landowner documents.
Policies and Guidelines
The Policies and Guidelines document outlines all of the yearly program requirements which must be met in order for a landowner to apply to the Clean Ohio LAEPP.
LAEPP 2019 Policies and Guidelines
An agreement between the landowner and the department in which the landowner agrees to convey an agricultural easement on certain property to the department for a fixed price.
Deed of Agricultural Easement (State)
Landowner's receiving state funding will sign a State Deed.
The sample Deed of Agricultural Easement is a legal agreement between the landowner, Ohio Department of Agriculture and the local sponsor. The deed is recorded in the county recorder's office and limits the use of the land to predominantly agricultural activity and prohibits the conversion of the land to non-agricultural uses. The land remains on the tax rolls and under private ownership/management. Participation is voluntary. Once the easement is secured, the landowner can sell their farm or pass it along as a gift to others. The deed is binding on all future owners of the property.
Periodically, the Office of Farmland Preservation publishes stories about easements in their programs on their website and other kinds of media. If you have a farm or have sponsored a farm in one of our programs and would like to have that farm considered for one of these articles, please complete the Farmland Stories form & submit the completed form to our office.
Additional information about the Farmland Stories project: