EcoTrack 11: Local farmland preservation

By Tara Hastings - bio | email

Posted by LS - email

SWANTON (WTOL) - Farmland is being lost in Ohio, but one program is helping to keep it.

John Myers has been a farmer all his life, along with most of his family. "My dad farmed. My grandfather farmed. My great grandpa farmed -- all on this land.

Still living in the house he grew up in, John has wheat, soybeans and corn crops. He has pride in his farm, and doesn't want to see it change.

However, Ohio has been rapidly losing farmland. "Over the past 50 years, we've lost nearly 7 million acres of farmland. To put that into terms, that's about one-third the state of Ohio," said Kristen Jensen with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

John took action. Of his 400 hundred acres, 125 is preserved under the Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program.

"The farmer continues to own the land. We put this legal document on it, saying it can only be used for agriculture purposes," explains Kristen Jensen with Ohio Dept of Agriculture.

Through this program, John is going to be able to pass his tractor, along with all his land, to his children and to future generations.

John sees his, along with all farmland, as irreplaceable. "We have very good land here in northwest Ohio, and it's like a natural resource to the country. Why destroy something that's natural because you can never bring this land back?"