June 23, 2010 | Editorial from The Mount Vernon News
Reprinted from: Our Opinion. Mount Vernon News, 23 June.
Four more farms in Knox County have received approval for agricultural easements in 2010, adding 340 more acres to the amount of land that will be forever preserved for agricultural us. When one considers Ohio has $98 billion food and agriculture industry, these additional acres will help preserve the future of that industry.
Funding for ag easements is through the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. Since the program's inception, the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Office of Farmland Preservation has preserved more than 33,000 acres of farmland across Ohio.
The ODA received 203 applications from 37 counties for the 2010 funding. Knox County submitted nine applications; only seven counties submitted more than Knox. The number submitted speaks well of the commitment area residents have toward preserving the agricultural heritage of Knox County.
Many of the 340 acres that comprise the four farms approved for 2010 are contiguous to acreage already in the ag easement program. This is one of several aspects looked on favorably by the ODA when considering applications, and again demonstrates a high commitment on the part of Knox County residents to preserve the rural character of the county.