In funding years 2015 and 2019, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Office of Farmland Preservation awarded allocations to local sponsors that exceeded the $6.25 million funding available from Clean Ohio bond sales by $2.5 million. As a result, the program accepted record numbers of applications into the Farmland Preservation program.
In 2020 alone, the office closed 79 easements totaling over $11 million; this is more than the program closed from 2015 through 2017 combined and double those closed in 2018 and 2019. More than 100 easements are pending, all of which are funded by future bond sales previously authorized by the General Assembly.
Six easements on 1,465 acres totaling almost $1.9 million have been closed in Fayette County to date. One easement on 403 acres is pending.
Due to the amount already committed, and following careful examination of the office’s current finances, the department will not solicit a new round of applications for the coming year. However, it is anticipated that the General Assembly will authorize future Clean Ohio bond sales, and the department is committed to funding local sponsors applications with $6.25 million in funds available in 2023.
With the help of local sponsors, including Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District, the department will continue to modernize and improve the Farmland Preservation program, while looking for additional partnerships and sources of funding.
Please contact Chet Murphy of Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District at 740-313-3214 or [email protected] if you have any questions.