The Ohio Department of Agriculture will accept applications from April 1-30 from landowners who want to sell all rights to develop their farmland.
More than 300 people in five cities attended meetings in the last two months on the Office of Farmland Preservation program, which is to pay farm owners the difference between the agricultural and development value of the land and then place a deed restriction on its use.
The preservation office plans to make offers to landowners this summer. It has $6.25 million this year to pay for development rights, part of $25 million that it is to spend on the program over four years. The money comes out of a $400 million bond issue that voters passed in 2000 to clean polluted industrial sites and preserve green space and water.