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Black Swamp Conservancy to host farmland-preservation meeting


Black Swamp Conservancy will host an informational meeting about farmland preservation on February 3, 2009, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to anyone who owns farmland in northwest Ohio.  


The meeting will be held at the W. W. Knight Preserve in Perrysburg. The preserve is located at 29530 White Road, near the corner of White Road and East River Road (State Route 65).


Representatives from the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation will present information about the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP), a program that provides funding for landowners who agree to limit the use of their farmland to agricultural uses only.


The AEPP program is operated by the Dept. of Agriculture. A farmland owner sells his development rights through a legal document known as an agricultural conservation easement, a three-party voluntary land conservation agreement of the landowner, the Department of Agriculture, and the conservancy. The agreements require that the current owner and all future owners of the property use the land mostly for farming, in perpetuity.  


Farmland owners interested in the AEPP program can only apply for the funding if they have a sponsor such as Black Swamp Conservancy. To date, the conservancy has sponsored 33 successful applications, more than any other sponsor in history of the program. Those farms are located in Fulton, Lucas, Sandusky, Seneca and Wood counties.


Along with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, a farmland owner who has been through the AEPP process will be on hand to answer questions.


The conservancy’s executive director Kevin Joyce will also give a brief presentation on the federal income tax incentives associated with conservation easement donations, which are particularly attractive for people who generate more than half of their income from agriculture.


For more information about the meeting, please call Rob Krain at Black Swamp Conservancy, 419-872-5263.  


More information about the conservancy is available online at www.blackswamp.org. The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation is available online at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/farmland/.






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