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Serving: OH

Deadline approaching for USDA funding to protect farmland

Ronald E Grafe/Getty Images Ohio countryside
APPLY NOW: The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program is designed to keep agricultural lands for future generations, especially in areas experiencing development pressure.
Apply before Dec. 3 for this year’s round of funding.

Now is the time, before the Dec. 3 deadline, to apply for part of the $76 million USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest in financial assistance to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts and other groups protect valuable working lands.

The program is open to people and groups wanting to protect private, agricultural lands and grasslands by enrolling them into conservation easements.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program is designed to keep agricultural lands for future generations, especially in areas experiencing development pressure.

“Land protected by Agricultural Land Easement supports the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply, in addition to historic and wildlife habitat preservation,” Ohio acting state conservationist Lori Ziehr says.

Partners include state or local agencies, nonprofits, and tribes. Landowners continue to own their property, but voluntarily enter into a legal agreement with a cooperating entity to purchase an easement.  

That entity applies for funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement, permanently protecting its agricultural use and conservation values. Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under this program. Last year, NRCS Ohio and its partners protected more than 1,900 acres of important agricultural land through the program.

Easements are permanent. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and forestlands.

Applications are accepted continuously. However, the ranking cutoff deadline for fiscal 2022 funding is Dec. 3. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered in future funding rounds.

Those interested in agricultural easements should contact their local USDA service center or Abby McClain at [email protected].

Source: USDA-NRCS, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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