Agricultural easements can address farmland preservation and farm transition goals, part 2

By:Peggy Kirk Hall, Attorney and Director, Agricultural & Resource Law Program Wednesday, October 25th, 2023
Three women holding sign saying "Ohio preserved farm" in front of field of corn.

An agricultural easement is a legal instrument that can protect farmland from non-farm development and preserve the legacy of family land for the future. An earlier blog post explains how an agricultural easement works and answers common questions about agricultural easements.  As we explained, an agricultural easement not only preserves farmland but can also be a valuable financial and tax tool that can enable a transition of the farm to the next generation.  But are there drawbacks to agricultural easements?  Here’s a summary of potential negative implications of easements that landowners should also consider. Continue reading

Seeking applications for the Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame

Do you know someone that has made great contributions to agriculture in Licking County?

The Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame was established to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated a life-long exemplary service to their community and the industry of agriculture.


Nominations may be made by any individual or organization by completing a nomination form and returning it to The Ohio State University Extension, Attn: Licking County Hall of Fame Committee, 771 E. Main St., Suite 103, Newark, OH 43055. Nominations forms can also be emailed to the OSU Licking County Extension Office at

More details are on this award are on the application form.  Applications must be on the furnished form as they are scored according to the point system on the form.

Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame Nomination Form

The deadline for nominations is December 31st.

Licking County Rainfall Summary

Thank you to all those that have helped me by keeping track of their rainfall and providing the results throughout this growing season!

We had ups and downs and a very dry September this year.  Overall we finished the growing season about 3 inches below normal in much of the county.  There definitely was a large geographic difference with a range of 7.4 inches between Madison and Union township!

Agricultural easements can address farmland preservation and farm transition goals

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

Questions from farmers and farmland owners about agricultural easements are on the rise at the Farm Office.  Why is that?  From what we’re hearing, the questions are driven by concerns about the loss of farmland to development as well as desires to keep farmland in the family for future generations.  An agricultural easement is a unique tool that can help a farmland owner and farming operation meet goals to protect farmland from development or transition that land to the next generation.  Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve been hearing. Continue reading

Ohio State University to Provide Resolution Services for Ohio Farms

By:Robert Moore, Friday, October 13th, 2023

Legal Groundwork

Ohio has over 76,000 farms and 13 million acres of farmland.  In such a large and diverse industry, conflicts commonly arise that can lead to disputes, litigation, and appeals.  Ultimately, these conflicts can cause harmful effects that threaten the viability of Ohio agriculture.  To address these issues, a new program has been developed – Ohio Farm Resolution Services at The Ohio State University (OFRS).  The goal of OFRS is to cultivate solutions to the conflicts that impact Ohio’s farms and farm families.

OFRS will provide a three-pronged approach to assist farms and farm families in resolving problems and conflicts:

  1. Education resources.  The first approach will be to provide educational resources that may lead to a resolution.  Educational resources may be in the form of bulletins, publications, articles or individual discussions.  For example, OFRS may provide a law bulletin on farm leasing to a tenant and landowner involved in a lease dispute.  Some disputes can be resolved through education alone.
  2. Consultation and informal resolution services.  OSU Extension attorneys and farm management specialists will be available to meet with parties to assist with resolving their issues.  These services will be more informal and may include sitting at the kitchen table with a family struggling with transition planning or perhaps meeting in a pasture to discuss shared fence line concerns between neighboring farmers.
  3. Formal mediation.  Sometimes conflicts escalate to hard feelings and entrenched positions.  When this happens, formal mediation may be appropriate.  This process will involve the intervention of a trained mediator to assist the parties in negotiating jointly acceptable resolution of issues in conflict. The mediator meets with the parties at a neutral location, often shuttling between separate rooms, where the parties can discuss the dispute and explore a variety of solutions.  Formal mediation is often the last step before litigation.

Most consultation and mediation services will be conducted by OFRS’ primary consultants/mediators: Peggy Hall, David Marrison, Jeff Lewis and Robert Moore.  OFRS will also develop a pool of outside mediators who can assist with matters that require special or unique technical knowledge.  OFRS is committed to providing individuals who have both the knowledge and skill to help understand and resolve issues.

OFRS will be able to assist on a wide variety of matters.  The following are issues for which OFRS can provide assistance:

  • Family communication
  • Farm transition planning
  • Business entities
  • Business practices
  • Land use
  • Property issues/neighbor issues
  • Zoning
  • Farm leases
  • Energy leases
  • Farm labor issues
  • Farmland drainage
  • Crops/agronomy/soils disputes
  • USDA administrative appeals
  • ODA administrative appeals
  • Farm lender/creditor negotiations

OFRS is available to provide educational and consultation services now.  Mediation services will be available beginning in January 2024.  For more information or to refer someone to OFRS, contact Robert Moore at or 614-247-8260.  Information is also available at

Ohio Maple Days December 8-9th

Registration is now open for Ohio Maple Days December 8-9th at Ashland University’s Convocation Center.  This 2-day event offers a Friday workshop on value added maple products and an all-day program on Saturday on a wide variety of topics.

There is a maple tasting contest during the value-added workshop.  Are you a small producer who wants to enter the contest?  Go to the Ohio Maple Producers website and download the rules and application for the John Berry Maple contest.

Want your hydrometer tested?  Bring it to the Saturday meeting and there will be a station to get it tested.

Last but not least.  The Ohio Maple Producers Association is hosting One Sweet Gathering Friday night Dec. 8th.  This event is all about supporting Ohio Maple.  There will be great food, maple trivia, maple beverages, a raffle and prizes.  To register for the event, go to

Register for the Value Added Maple Products workshop here.

Register for Ohio Maple Days – A Day for Maple here


Hidden Architects: The Roles and Impacts of Wood Decay Fungi in Shaping Ohio’s Woodlands. Friday’s Escape to the Forest webinar!

Join us on November 3rd for another Friday’s Escape to the Forest webinar!

Erika Lyon, OSU Extension Education for Jefferson & Harrison Counties will share with us Hidden Architects: The Roles and Impacts of Wood Decay Fungi in Shaping Ohio’s Woodlands.

Register HERE for the webinar.

This webinar will be recorded and posted on our website.


Register Now for the January 4-5 Ohio State Organic Grains Conference

From: Eric Richer, The Ohio State University

Assistant Professor / Farm Management Field Specialist    419-590-6042

Registration is open for the 2nd annual Ohio State Organic Grains Conference, January 4-5, 2024 at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center near Toledo, Ohio. The 2024 conference offers programming for experienced organic growers, growers transitioning to or considering organic, and consultants or educators who support these growers.

“According to the most recent census data, Ohio has over 350 organic corn and soybean farmers, and currently has the sixth most acres in transition to organic in the country,” says conference director Eric Richer. “One of the goals of the conference is to better prepare farmers for the production and management risks associated with organic grain production in the state and to evaluate the possibility of growing value-added, organic grain in our region.” Continue reading