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What We Do

For Farmers / Landowners

2024 LAEPP Application Open Now!

Licking Soil & Water is a Certified Local Sponsor for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's 2024 Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). 

Soil & Water receives funds from Clean Ohio to preserve farmland under the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). An agricultural easement is a voluntary and legally-binding restriction placed on a farm. The easement limits the use of the land to predominantly agricultural activity. The land remains under private ownership and management and stays on the tax rolls under Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV). The farmland can be sold or passed along as a gift to others at any time, but the restriction prohibiting non-agricultural development stays with the land.

The following requirements must be met by the farmland and owner at the time of application submission:

  • The farm must be enrolled in CAUV and the Agricultural District Program through the county auditor’s office.
  • The farm must be a minimum of 40 acres unless the farm is adjacent to a preserved farm, then it must be a minimum of 25 acres.
  • NOTE: Farms that are 10-24 acres and also share a substantial border with permanently protected land compatible with agriculture must submit a written request with supporting documentation before eligibility for application can be determined.
  • The farmland owner must certify that the property does not contain hazardous substances.
  • The farmland owner must have been in compliance with state and federal agricultural laws for the past five years.
  • The farmland owner must have possession of the clear title to the applicant property.
  • The local sponsor must agree to share monitoring and enforcement responsibilities.

The Licking County SWCD deadline to submit a pre-application for 2024 LAEPP is January 12th.

As the local sponsor, we will submit the information with needed documentations to the ODA, who will then send out Notices of Selection to the owners of the highest-ranking farms in mid-May. The accepted landowner(s) will then have a chance to accept the offer. 

Contact Briana Hodgson at or 740-670-5335 with questions.

Download the LAEPP pre-application form below.

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:

  • provides information and learning resources 
  • monitors & enforces 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 information on the topics below. "CLICK HERE" below to get started.

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

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