Monroe Township resident Marie Holscher has donated a permanent agricultural easement on her family’s 42-acre farm to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
This is the first easement donation of its kind in Clermont County and is the 28th state-wide donation of an agricultural easement to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Holscher recently made the donation to ensure that the farm is never developed for any commercial or non-farm purposes.
“It is important to me that this remains farm land forever,” she said. “It would break my heart if it was developed for any other purpose. This way, it is a comfort to know that whatever happens to me, this beautiful property will remain.”
"My husband (who died in 1957) and I bought the farm and moved here in 1950," Holscher said. "It has been in our family ever since that time and is a much cherished home. It is important to me to preserve this house and its surrounding acres just as it is right now. Hopefully, the easement will accomplish that."
The Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District has assured Holscher that they will closely monitor the agricultural easement on behalf of the department to ensure that the donated land is specifically used for agriculture and nothing else.
Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs said that the generous donation is a wonderful gift to the county and to the state.
"I commend the Holscher family for their desire to see their beautiful family farm remain in agriculture," he said in a state-wide media release. "I am pleased that our department has been able to help the Holscher family preserve a farm of such agricultural and historical significance."
Marie Holscher, who was a teacher in the New Richmond School District for 26 years before retiring, said that when she and her husband moved to Clermont in 1950, most of the surrounding properties were working farms.
"While some of those farms remain, many have been lost over the years," she laments. "My hope is that this donation will encourage others who want to protect our farms and wildlife to consider agricultural easements for their farms as well."
With the Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program, interested land owners can donate a permanent easement on their farm to the state. These easements are voluntary legal agreements that restrict the development of farmland for commercial purposes, while the land remains a tax-paying property privately owned and managed.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, landowners may begin any agricultural activity allowed under Ohio law and they can sell the farm or pass it along to others.
Holscher's donation now joins the 28 farms in 16 Ohio counties that have donated agricultural easements (totalling 3,486 acres) to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.