Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
Seneca Conservation District (SCD) has been selected as a local sponsor for the Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). This program allows landowners to voluntarily sell easements on their farms to the state of Ohio. The easement requires that 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 on 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.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture issues monies for up to 75% of the appraised value of the farm. ODA has set a payment cap at $2,000 per acre, with a maximum of $500,000 per farm. A minimum 25% of the appraised value of the easement must be provided in donation by the landowner or cash match by a local sponsor. All easement transactions are recorded on the property deed and transfer with the land to successive owners.
The landowner who sold or donated the easement remains the owner of the land. The privately owned land can be bought and sold once the easement is secured. However, the easement stays attached to the land and must remain in agriculture for all future landowners.
You must have a local sponsor to complete an application for this program. If you would like more information about this program please contact the SCD office at 419-447-7073. Information is also available on the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website.
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