In this page you will find a list of the most common questions and answers related to the Office of Farmland Preservation.
You may sell, trade or gift all the land under the agricultural easement to a new owner. Consider the following before the easement is transferred:
Prior to transfer the property landowners or their representatives should contact the Farmland Preservation Office or their local sponsor/monitoring agent.
The agricultural easement travels with the land, so the new owner and all subsequent owners must abide by the terms of the Deed of Agricultural Easement.
In general, all parcels that make up an easement are bound together by one permanent agricultural easement; all parcels must be conveyed as one unit and cannot be sold or transferred separately.
The deed of transfer of the property must include reference to the Deed of Agricultural Easement by referencing the easement and noting the volume and page (or instrument number) of the original Deed of Agricultural Easement.
After an easement is sold or transferred the Farmland Preservation is to receive notice of the conveyance and a copy of the deed of transfer within 15 days after closing.
An agricultural easement is a voluntary and legally-binding restriction placed on a farm. The easement limits the use of the land to predominantly agricultural activity. The land remains under private ownership and management and stays on the tax rolls under Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV). The farmland can be sold or passed along as a gift to others at any time, but the restriction prohibiting non-agricultural development stays with the land.
The landowner who sold or donated the easement remains the owner of the land. The privately owned land can be bought and sold once the easement is secured. However, the easement stays attached to the land and applies to all future landowners.
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 or contacts the Farmland Preservation Office to initiate the Agricultural Easement Donation Program (AEDP).
A local sponsor can be local governments (such as counties, townships, and municipalities), Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), or a charitable organization (typically a land trust).
Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP)
Interested local sponsors complete a Local Sponsor Certification application which demonstrates that they have the capacity to co-hold an easement with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. A certified local sponsor then completes and submits the landowner application on the landowner's behalf and works closely with the Farmland Preservation Office to secure the easement.
Additional information for landowners interested in the LAEPP.