PREBLE & BUTLER COUNTIES — As the second highest awardee in the state, The Three Valley Conservation Trust (TVCT) has an estimated $496,854 to distribute to agricultural landowners in Butler and Preble Counties through the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).
The pre-selection for interested landowners will begin on January 2nd and close on Feb. 15. Call at 513-524-2150 or email TVCT at [email protected] for more information.
The LAEPP allows local landowners to voluntarily sell property development rights via agricultural an easement to the State of Ohio. The easement limits the use of land to predominately agricultural activity. The land remains under private ownership and management, and stays on tax rolls under Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV). The farmland can be sold or passed along as a gift to others at any time, but restrictions prohibiting non-agricultural development stay with the land in perpetuity.
Qualifying farms must be: 1) at least 40 contiguous acres (exceptions may apply) and 2) currently enrolled in CAUV and the Agricultural District Program through the county auditor’s office. The farm owner has to demonstrate good stewardship of the property and possess a clean title. The successful applicants will need to have support from their local government for the easement.
Since the beginning of this program in 2002, the Office of Farmland Preservation has received approximately 2,875 applications for the highly competitive LAEPP. Easements have been secured on 374 farms totaling 63,049 acres in 55 counties across Ohio.