You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

live video

Sean Spicer giving daily White House briefing

Farmland preservation effort seeks to protect nearly 3,800 acres

The Tecumseh Land Trust has protected about 24,000 acres of farmland from development and hopes to protect more than 4,000 more this year through conservation easements at the cost of $1.6 million.

The non-profit organization, which serves Clark and Greene counties, recently asked county commissioners to support an application with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to receive funding to purchase easements for 20 properties in Clark County totaling 3,795 acres and 590 acres in Greene County.

Michele Burns, associate director of the land trust, said the Tecumseh Land Trust has already received $550,000 from Clean Ohio Fund and hopes to receive over $1 million from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, formerly known as the Farm & Ranch Land Protection Program.

Burns said the Department of Agriculture’s farmland protection program has helped secure conservation easements and preserved agriculture throughout Ohio since 2002.

“In Ohio and Clark County, the No. 1 industry is agriculture, so it provides security that the industry will be here and the support services will stay in our area,” Burns said.

Burns said the Tecumseh Land Trust is second in land conservation only to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to preserving land of northern Ohio.

The organization may only receive enough funding to prevent development on about 1,200 acres of farms in Clark and Greene counties, according to Burns.

Most of the land the Tecumseh Land Trust is seeking easements for is in Harmony and Pleasant townships. A few other parcels are in Pike, Madison and Green townships.

Greg Kaffenbarger, who owns Kaffenbarger Farms in Pike Twp. with his wife, Brenda, has two farms totalling 357 acres included in the Tecumseh Land Trust application. He said he wants to prevent his farms from ever being developed.

“There is no more farmland being made. We need to preserve what we have,” Greg Kaffenbarger said. “There’s farmland every day nationwide being developed into a housing development or a strip mall. We need to preserve as much farmland as we can.”

Easement values are based on the difference between the developable real estate and the farm values. For example, if it’s appraised at $9,000 an acre as a developable property and the farm value is $4,000 an acre, the easement value is $5,000 per acre, Burns said.

Kaffenbarger learned about the organization through other farmers in the area. He said the organization can prevent heirs or their spouses from selling the land for development use in years to come.

“It helps landowners get added value for their land instead of selling it off in lots,” Kaffenbarger said. “We value farmland. Every time you put up a house or any structure that’s on good farmland, that will never be the same. … To me it just makes sense.”

Burns said the property is considered a charitable donation that the owners can use as a deduction with their adjusted gross income.

Matthew Harbage, easement specialist for the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Easement Program, allocated about $6.5 million to programs statewide to secure easements last year.

Harbage said the Tecumseh Land Trust is one of Ohio’s top tier organizations that apply for dozens of conservation easements annually.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Lock down lifted at Air Force base after reports of 'gunshot sounds'
Lock down lifted at Air Force base after reports of 'gunshot sounds'

A lock down order has been lifted at a U.S. Air Force base in Arizona after officials got reports of "gunshot wounds" on Monday morning. The lock down was lifted around 11:40 a.m. MST, about an hour and a half after officials at Tucson's Davis-Monthan Air Force Base warned people to take shelter. Officials with the Tucson Police Department...
Tanker fire shuts highways in northwest Columbus
Tanker fire shuts highways in northwest Columbus

According to WBNS in Columbus Interstate 270 and US-33 was closed in all directions due to a tanker fire near Dublin in northwest Columbus. Dublin Police have advised motorists to avoid area. I-270 west is closed at SR 315. Westbound I-270 traffic is detoured to SR 315. I-270 north is closed at I-70. Northbound traffic is detoured to I-70. The duration...
Elk walks into gift shop, stays 45 minutes
Elk walks into gift shop, stays 45 minutes

A Colorado gift shop owner got a surprise over the weekend when an elk decided to do some window shopping in his store. Pratek Fhakya, owner of Water Wheel Gift Corner in Estes Park, told Fox 31 in Denver that he had the front doors propped open for customers on Saturday when he saw the large bull elk standing in the doorway. He was set to call 911...
NC pastor, wife expecting twins after losing sons in deadly crash
NC pastor, wife expecting twins after losing sons in deadly crash

A Charlotte couple who lost both of their children in a crash in 2015 is expecting twins. Hadley and Gentry Eddings made the announcement Sunday on the Prayers for the Eddings Family Facebook page. Gentry, who is a pastor at Forest Hill Church, and his wife Hadley, who teaches 4-year-olds at the church, expressed their gratitude to the community...
Sleep problems? Try these changes in your routine
Sleep problems? Try these changes in your routine

Kettering Health Network is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare system. The network has eight hospitals: Grandview, Kettering, Sycamore, Southview, Greene Memorial, Fort Hamilton, Kettering Behavioral Health and Soin. If it has been a while since you slept like a baby, you are not alone. Many adults struggle to spend enough time in dreamland,...
More Stories