Washington, D.C., November 6, 2008 —“American Farmland Trust (AFT) is very pleased with yesterday’s outcome in support of the Clean Ohio Bond Fund. Renewal of Clean Ohio will provide much-needed funding for the continuation of efforts to protect valuable and irreplaceable farmland in the Buckeye State,” says Bob Wagner, Senior Director for Farmland Protection Programs for AFT.
Ohio voters approved Issue 2, The Clean Ohio Bond Fund, by nearly 70 percent, up from the 57 percent of voters who supported the first bond fund in 2000. The money from the Bond Fund can be used for farmland preservation, Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, green space projects and recreational trails.
“Ohio is setting the bar for other states who want to protect their valuable farmland,” adds Wagner. “New funding for the Agricultural Easement Purchase Program will enable farm families throughout Ohio to protect their farmland and plan for the future of their farms. It comes at a critical time since the program has been very successful yet regularly has a backlog of applications. The new funding will also make it possible for Ohio to continue to capture federal matching dollars made available through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program in the 2008 Farm Bill.”
“AFT is proud to have been a supporter of the Clean Ohio Campaign and to have worked with local partners over the years in the development of policies and programs in the state to protect farmland and support the contribution of farms and farm families totheir local communities,” Wagner added.
“Passage of the Clean Ohio Bond Fund is a long-term win-win for citizens. Because people voted yes for Issue 2, they will now enjoy the benefits of having farms in Ohio communities into the future, and along with the environmental, economic and other benefits those farms will produce,” concluded Wagner.