Landowners can sell an agricultural easement


GREENVILLE — Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is accepting applications from Darke County landowners interested in selling an agricultural easement on their farms through Jan. 31. Darke SWCD has received an allocation from the Clean Ohio Fund to select, close and monitor easements under the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP) to protect local farmland.

The program allows landowners to voluntarily sell easements on their farms to the state of Ohio. The easement requires the farm remain permanently in agriculture production. Selected farms must be 40 acres or more, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have the support of their local government and not lay directly in the path of development. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operations.

Funding for the state’s farmland preservation efforts is derived from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, approved by voters in 2008, and used to purchase agricultural easements from willing sellers through a competitive process. From 2002 to 2022, 589 family farms in 61 Ohio counties have collectively preserved 91,507 acres in agricultural production. Permanent easements preserved under related programs bring the total acres currently preserved in Ohio to over 102,000.

Interested applicants can request an application by contacting the Darke SWCD office at 937-548-1715 ext. 3 or stop by at 1117 Southtowne Court in Greenville.

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