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Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program

Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program

 

Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) will receive funding from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to preserve farmland in Lake County for the 2024 funding round of the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).

 

The LAEPP pays farmland owners to voluntarily place an agricultural easement upon their farm to preserve it as a working farm forever. The program provides an opportunity for landowners who love their land to be compensated for extinguishing the “development rights” and be reassured that the farm will always BE a farm. The land stays under private ownership.

 

To qualify, farms must be more than 40 acres, actively engaged in farming and enrolled in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) and Agricultural District programs. A small farm exception is an option for landowners with less than 40 acres if they are adjacent to other permanently protected properties. Landowners may use the proceeds of the easement in any way they wish, but most reinvest it in their farm operation.

 

Since the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (predecessor to the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program) began in 2002, Lake SWCD has worked with interested landowners to establish easements on 11 farms, preserving a total of 497 acres in North Perry Village, Madison Township and Leroy Township.

 

The 2024 application period runs from January 18, 2024 through April 3, 2024. Interested landowners should contact Lake SWCD to make an application. If the applicant farm is not currently enrolled in the CAUV or Ag District programs, the landowner must make an application with the Lake County Auditor before the first Monday in March in order to qualify for the 2024 funding.

 

For more information contact the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District at 440-350-2730 or soil@lakecountyohio.gov.

More information can be found on the Ohio Department of Agriculture website at

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