By DOUG GRAVES
REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — For their efforts in helping to build local farmland preservation programs, three Ohioans were presented the Ohio Farmland Ambassador Award.
This year’s recipients were Larry Frimerman of the Three Valley Conservation Trust, which serves Butler, Darke, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties; Dan Jackson of the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD); and Roger Wolfe, a Fairfield County farmer.
The honors took place last month during the 13th Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit in Reynoldsburg.
“Agriculture is Ohio’s No. 1 industry and the productive farmland that we have here in Ohio is what we build on every day,” state Director of Agriculture David Daniels said. “It powers energy and manufacturing. Preserving this land for future generations is vital. We have preserved more than 50,000 acres of farmland, and more is in the pipeline every day.”
The three winners dedicated themselves to building local farmland preservation programs. After a decade of partnership between state and local partners, there is preservation of that acreage in 55 counties.
Frimerman became executive director of Three Valley in 2001. In addition to serving as Township Trustee at Oxford Township, he was Adjunct Instructor and Fellow at the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University in Oxford.
He also served as federal liaison at the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and was the Public Participation coordinator at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Jackson has been a Resource Conservation Technician with the Montgomery SWCD for more than 12 years. He has assisted numerous farmers, land trusts and local, state and federal agencies to protect farmland through agricultural and conservation easements in Montgomery County.
He is a strong advocate for Ohio’s Agricultural Security Area (ASA) program and has helped create two ASAs in the county.
Wolfe is the fifth generation of his family to farm in Fairfield County. His past activities include 4-H adviser for the Buckeye Conservation Club, member of the Fairfield SWCD board of supervisors, chair of the Ohio Federation of SWCD Land Use Committee and member of the Fairfield County Farmland Preservation Task Force.
An active member of Fairfield County Farm Bureau, he has been involved with numerous ag organizations, including All Ohio Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society, American Farmland Trust and Fairfield Land Preservation Assoc.
“As we evolve, we want our partners to be more involved with this farm preservation process,” Daniels said. “We want people to think locally. The local people know what farmland is to be preserved and how those easements are preserved and how those dollars are spent.
“These local partners will be able to find a little revenue to keep that land trust going and be a longtime partner in this effort.”