Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
The Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP) provides matching grants to counties, townships, municipal corporations and charitable organizations for the voluntary purchase of agricultural easements from farmland owners. The Office of Farmland Preservation, housed within the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will administer the program with funds from the Clean Ohio Fund. The program includes an application and ranking process to select eligible farms, followed by the distribution of state matching grants to the counties, townships, municipalities or charitable organizations that will purchase the eligible agricultural easements.
PleaseThe following are some benefits of this program:
- AEPP protects farmland permanently, while keeping it in private ownership.
- Participation in AEPP is voluntary.
- AEPP is implemented by a partnership between the state and local government, or a private organization.
- AEPP provides farmers with financially competitive alternative to development, giving them cash to help address the economic challenges of farming in urban-influenced areas.
- AEPP can protect ecological as well as agricultural resources.
- AEPP limits the value of agricultural land, which helps to keep it affordable to farmers.
- AEPP involves the non-farming public in farmland protection.
The following are a few disadvantages to this program:
- AEPP is expensive.
- AEPP can rarely protect enough land to eliminate development pressure on unrestricted farms.
- AEPP programs are generally unable to keep up with farmer demand to sell easements. This results in long waiting lists and missed opportunities to protect land.
- Purchasing easements is time-consuming.
- The voluntary nature of AEPP means that some important agricultural lands are not protected.
- Monitoring and enforcing easements requires an ongoing investment of time and resources.
For more information on this program and for information on how to apply, please visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture Office Of Farmland Preservation website at: www.agri.ohio.gov/farmland