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Ohio Farmland Preservation Program Expands as Fulton County Farm Joins the Initiative
Ohio Ag Connection - 05/26/2023

In a significant step towards preserving Ohio's agricultural heritage, the Farmland Preservation Program has welcomed its sixth addition this year. Thomas A. Herr, Jr. and Jennifer M. Herr, proud owners of a farm in Fulton County, have voluntarily joined the program, adding 74 acres to the protected land.

The Farmland Preservation Program, administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), operates through agricultural easements, which are voluntary agreements between landowners and the ODA. These agreements ensure that the land remains predominantly dedicated to agricultural use in perpetuity. In return, landowners receive compensation or may be entitled to tax deductions for their commitment to maintaining the land for farming purposes.

The success of the program is not only attributed to the ODA but also to the active participation of local sponsors like the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District. Their collaboration played a significant role in securing the agreement with Thomas A. Herr, Jr. and Jennifer M. Herr, facilitating the addition of their farm to the Farmland Preservation Program.

Since its inception in 1998, the Office of Farmland Preservation has witnessed 686 farms, covering an impressive total of 103,620 acres, entering into preservation agreements. This achievement has solidified Ohio's position as a leading producer, supporting and benefiting all Ohioans.

The positive impact of the program extends beyond preserving agricultural land. The funds generated from the purchase of these easements are injected back into the local economy. Landowners utilize these funds to expand their farming operations, acquire new equipment, reduce debt, implement conservation practices, plan for retirement, send their children to college, and pursue other essential purposes. As a result, when the state purchases a farmland easement, it not only ensures the preservation of Ohio's agriculture industry for future generations but also contributes to the growth and vitality of the state's economy.

With the addition of Thomas A. Herr, Jr. and Jennifer M. Herr's farm to the Farmland Preservation Program, Ohio takes yet another stride in safeguarding its rich agricultural traditions while empowering farmers to thrive. This accomplishment reinforces the importance of collaborative efforts in ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for Ohio's farming communities.

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