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Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit features John Glenn
By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
Ohio Correspondent

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — What’s happening with Farmland Preservation in Ohio? That will be the topic at the Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit on Thursday, Nov. 10.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will host the event at its facility in Reynoldsburg.

John Glenn, a former astronaut and Ohio senator, will be the keynote speaker at the Building on Success, Planning for the Future conference according to planning committee member Allen Prindle, a professor of economics at Otterbein College.

“He was selected as speaker because he was one of the spokesmen for the Clean Ohio Program that created the funding in November of 2000,” Prindle said. “He’ll discuss why voters were interested in supporting a fund that included support for farmland preservation, other kinds of conservation and greenspace programs and the brownfield programs that were included in the Clean Ohio Fund at that time.”

ODA Director Fred Dailey will open the summit followed by Michael Bailey, Executive Director, Office of Farmland Preservation, ODA.

Bailey will talk about what has happened in farmland preservation during the last year and any proposed changes related to the easement purchase program, Prindle said.

In a legislative update Cheryl Subler, County Commissioners Assoc. of Ohio, will detail what is happening across the state regarding agricultural security areas and land use issues.

During concurrent morning breakout sessions these topics will be discussed: local options beyond easements; the role of farm entrepreneurs in keeping farmers on the land; farming with easements.

“In the afternoon there is a panel discussion on the Clean Ohio Fund,” Prindle said.

“The panel will give a background of what has happened in the last five years but also what will happen in the future. At some point the state will have to decide on future funding for Clean Ohio Programs. The question from a farmland preservation perspective will be - what will that look like?”

Larry Long, Executive Director, County commissioners Assoc. Of Ohio, will talk about what’s next for Ohio Farmland Preservation. Bob Wagner, from the National Office of American Farmland Trust will close the sessions.

The summit should be appealing to farmers and landowners who might have an interest in a donation or selling of easements, as well as county commissioners, township trustees, and others with local interests.

Also, there is a lot of interest from people who are involved in nonprofit organizations that are supporting farmland preservation programs, Prindle explained recently.

“This is an annual update. Each year there are a number of people that return every year and also first time attendees,” he said. “We try to create a program that is interesting for both of those audiences and people in between as well.”

Registration deadline is Nov. 4. Fee is $40.

For more information phone 614-688-4890; visit http://www.farmland.org/cgl/ohio_fpp_summit.htm; e-mail: cory.1@osu.edu

This Ohio farm news was published in the November 2, 2005 issue of Farm World.

11/2/2005