NE Ohio's Farmland Protection Programs and Options
CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Valuation) is a tool intended to keep farmland affordable for commercial agricultural operations. CAUV reduces the amount of property tax that a farmer is required to pay. There are qualifications and criteria. Simple statement for qualification, “crops and critters are going to the market”. Hobby farms are not eligible for CAUV. This program is managed by the County Auditor. For county specific questions, contact your County Auditor.
Agricultural District (Ag District)
An Ag District is basically Ohio’s “Right to Farm” law. Enrollment in Ag District protects the farmer and land owner from nuisance complaints and will defer assessments for new water and sewer lines. As with all programs there are qualifying criteria. In order to enroll in Ag District, a farmer must already be in the CAUV program and commit to the Ag District for a period of 5 years. Program enrollment is done through the local County Auditor’s Office.
Agricultural Security Areas (ASA)
An Agricultural Security Area is a 10 year agreement between farmer, County Commissioners, and Township Trustees to NOT initiate any Non-Farm development for a period of 10 years. ASA’s must be at least 500 contiguous acres and therefore may require neighbors applying together. The benefits of placing your farm in an ASA are a guaranteed 10 year no-build period, plus some may be eligible for tax abatement on new construction of farm buildings. In most counties, either the Planning Department or the Soil and Water Conservation District are responsible for the application process.
Federal Conservation Programs
The USDA/NRCS has many programs for eligible landowners in Ohio. Some of these programs do not require farming, and others offer cost share for projects and improvements to the farm. Some programs include:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP is a cost share program. You may be eligible to offset the costs of fencing, manure storage units, and/ or high tunnels.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
GRP is a wonderful option for farmers of pastured livestock. It is a one time per acre payment that requires the landowner to keep the land in pastures.
For a complete listing and descriptions: USDA/NRCS
Questions about farmland preservation and protection tools? Contact Us.