Published Mon, Sep 24, 2012 8:56 am Dateline
Ohioans now have a new way to preserve farmland.
It's called the Agricultural Easement Donation Partnership Program.
Why the concern with preserving farmland?
Denise Franz, division chief of the Farmland Preservation with the Ohio Department of Agriculture says food and agriculture are the state's largest industry, which is why the program is working to help the industry grow.
Under the Agriculture Easement Donation Partnership Program, the Department of Agriculture will reimburse local partners for real estate closing and adminstrative costs to assist landowners with donations.
"We wanted to grow the potential and the capacity of our local sponsors," said Franz.
Franz says these local sponsors include townships, counties, and land trusts.
The Agriculture Department has set aside $50,000 to cover up to $3,000 in costs for the donation of farms up to 200 acres in size.
"We've preserved 55,000 acres of Ohio farmland, both through aquisition of easements and donations," said Franz. "But we're looking to preserve more."