Ohio awarded $8.3 million from feds to protect agricultural land


First Posted: 9/11/2014

OHIO — After requesting $18 million from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Ohio landowners and farmland protection organizations received $8.3 million in funding.

The funding will go toward protecting around 4,500 acres of farmland and wetland in Ohio, according to a release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The conservation service announced on Wednesday that the Department of Agriculture invested a total of $328 million to “help private landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands.”

ACEP, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, allows landowners and conservation organizations to ask USDA for help protecting their agricultural land with an easement, according to the release.

“These easements have a dramatic and positive impact on food supply, rural communities and wildlife habitat,” State Conservationist Terry Cosby said, according to the release.

There were 93 applications submitted from Ohio and $18 million requested; landowners in the state received $8.3 million to buy 17 high quality conservation easements.