LIMA — The West Central Ohio Land Conservancy will begin the process of selecting interested landowners who meet the qualifications for the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program in Allen and Mercer counties through Feb. 17.
Interested agricultural landowners are encouraged to call 567-204-9126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. The WCOLC will complete a precertification scoring of qualified applicants. The WCOLC will select the landowners with the highest precertification scores and aid them in completing an application to be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for purchase of their agricultural easement.
The program allows landowners to voluntarily sell easements on their farms to the state. The easement requires the farm remain permanently in agricultural production. Selected farms must be more than 40 acres, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have support from local government and not be in close proximity to development. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operation.