FARMLAND PRESERVATION PLAN
Richland County’s effort to prepare a Farmland Preservation Plan in 1999 takes place in the shadow of two major components of the community’s heritage. The first part of the heritage that is of note is the very name of the County. The settlers of this area selected the name “Richland” for the new County when it was organized in 1813. The name describes the fertility of the land. Fairfield is the only other Ohio County named for its agricultural character.
The second component of our unique farmland heritage is that Richland County was the birthplace of Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield, who used his fame and fortune to implement exemplary farming techniques at his Malabar Farm in southeastern Richland County from the late 1930's into the 1950's. His farm and his ideas live on as a model to this day as Malabar Farm State Park.
In 1999, through analysis of information and in-depth discussions the Richland County Farmland Preservation Task Force crafted the “Farmland Preservation Plan for Richland County.”
An agricultural easement is a permanent, legally binding restriction, which forever limits the use of the subject land to predominantly agricultural activity. Protecting a farm through a donated agricultural easement allows the landowner to retain ownership and exclusive use of the land.
The landowner still pays taxes, can continue to farm the land with any agricultural activity permitted by Ohio law, and can sell the land or pass it along as a gift or through the landowner’s estate.Even through those transfers, the easement’s restriction remains on the land to prevent the new owner from developing or otherwise converting the land to a nonagricultural use. Richland County Regional Planning can assist homeowners interested in donating an agricultural easement through the Landowners Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program RCRPC provides annual monitoring reports to the Ohio Department of Agriculture as the designated monitoring agent for the County. The purpose of monitoring is to verify that the grantor/landowner is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the easement and to maintain a cordial on-going relationship with the landowner.