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What We Do

For Farmers / Landowners

Licking Soil & Water is a Certified Local Sponsor for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's 2020 Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). 

Soil & Water receive funds from Clean Ohio to preserve farmland under the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).   As of December 2020, the LAEPP program will not be accepting applications due to decreased funding from the Clean Ohio fund for 2021.  

We anticipate the program to be fully funded in 2022.  Looking ahead, there are items that can be discussed and steps that can be taken by landowners to prepare for the 2022 application process.  
To be considered for permanent protection, the farm must remain in agriculture production in perpetuity. Selected farms must be at least 40 acres, actively engaged in farming, participate in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program, demonstrate good stewardship of the land, have the support of their local government and not lay directly in the path of development. 

For more information about how to prep for a future application, Briana Hodgson at

Licking Soil & Water assists Licking County landowners in preserving and protecting their land from development.We work with landowners to:

  • learn about their wishes
  • discuss programs & options
  • assist with applications
  • assist with the closing process

Soil & Water also:

  • provide information and learning resources 
  • monitor & enforce agricultural easements

Reasons to Protect Land include scenic views & open space, family or historical heritage, prime agricultural soils, local food & water sources, and wildlife habitat. 

Preservation Options include land donation, land purchase, easement donation, easement purchase, and estate planning. 

Conservation or Agricultural Easement Definition:  A conservation or agricultural easement is a voluntary, legal agreement to limit development on a parcel(s) of land.  The landowner continues to own and control the land and can sell, gift or transfer it.  The easement remains with the land and is binding on future owners. Types of restrictions are defined in the easement. The easement is given to a qualified organization. 

The Easement Closing Process Steps include: 

  • consider benefits & costs
  • resolve title issues
  • prepare Baseline Report
  • possible appraisal
  • possible survey
  • closing
  • stewardship fee or donation
  • possible appraisal for IRS purposes (IRS Form 8283, Non-cash Charitable Donation)

How you can help:

  • support and volunteer for local conservation organizations; and
  • tell others about land protection options.

For more information on land preservation, call, 740-670-5330, or email

Land Preservation Resources

For additional information, search the Internet for: 

  • Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP), Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • Agricultural Easement Donation Program (AEDP), Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • Agricultural Security Areas in Ohio (ASA), Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • CAUV Information, Ohio Department of Taxation, Licking County Auditor's Office
  • Agricultural District, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Licking County, Ohio Auditor's Office
  • Licking Land Trust, Licking County, Ohio
  • Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts (COLT)
  • American Farmland Trust 
  • Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program (Ohio Public Works Commission)
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • Estate Planning Resources

Video Links:
RA Jones, Licking County Easement Donation, July 2009 (Licking SWCD on You Tube)
Forever Farmland, July 2013 (Our Ohio on You Tube)