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Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP)

FRPP and Paddys Run Conservation Project Protects Farms and Environment

The Paddys Run Conservation Project (PRCP) provides funds to purchase development rights through agriculture and conservation easements from willing landowners. The program helps keep land in private hands and on the local tax rolls while protecting farms and the environment. The Henshaw Farm features tillable soils, stream corridors, and wooded slopes

The Henshaw property, first settled ca. 1805 by Welsh migrants to the area (hence the name Paddys Run), is one of several large family farm operations in Paddys Run. Funds awarded through FRPP helped protect 332 acres of the Henshaw land in perpetuity. Henshaw farms are distinguished by a high percentage of prime silt and clay loam soils and 123 acres of woodland.Dense stands of native Paw Paw enhance the Henshaw woods

According to Stanley and Charlotte Henshaw, “The timing of the easement offer was perfect. It allowed us to become sole owners of the property and to make some necessary repairs to the house. We and our children are happy to know that the forest will remain natural and the farmland will continue to be managed in ways that will preserve its productivity.”Built ca. 1825, the original brick Federal style house overlooks the Paddys Run valley

Full PRCP Story

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program is a voluntary program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect working agricultural lands by limiting non-agricultural uses.  NRCS works with approved state, local and non-profit entities who arrange for the purchase of development rights through conservation easements on private lands.  The entity holds and manages these conservation easements in perpetuity.

Link to Application Materials
Link to Application Timeline

Program Funding

Application ranking periods are announced each year. 

The entity must be deemed eligible before any proposed easements submitted by that entity will be considered. All required easement data must be included for the application to be considered.

Funds for FRPP will be awarded to the highest ranked eligible applications through a statewide competitive process. All proposed easements applications are ranked individually on their own merit.  Funds will be used to reimburse the entities for up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement on approved applications.

Entity Eligibility Criteria

Any state or local unit of government, or non-profit organization in Ohio can apply for FRPP funds by submitting an Application for Federal Funding (SF-424, SF-424a and SF-424b), and by demonstrating:

  • Commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands;
  • Ability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements;
  • Sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship; and
  • The availability of funds for each application.

Eligible entities will be notified by email of their eligibility status and if an agreement with NRCS for a period of three years will be developed. Within 30 days of agreement signing, the entity will be required to submit a draft easement deed for NRCS approval.

Proposed Easement Eligibility

Eligible land must:

  • Be privately owned;
  • Contain at least 50 percent prime, unique, statewide, or locally important farmland;
  • Be subject to a pending offer or option to purchase;
  • Contain cropland, grassland, pasture land, or forest land that contributes to the economic viability of an agricultural operation;
  • Not include forest land of greater than two-thirds of the easement; and
  • Possess on-site and off-site conditions which will allow the easement to be effective in achieving the purposes of the program.

The eligibility of the land and the landowner for each proposed easement must be established at the time the application is submitted for potential funding.

For each proposed easement application, the landowner’s legal name and contact information must be provided. The landowner must complete a CPA 1200.  The landowner must be compliant with Highly Erodible and Wetland Conservation provisions of the 1985 Farm Bill, as amended. A current AD-1026 must be on file with the Farm Service Agency and must be included with the application.

Conservation management plans are required on FRPP easements with highly erodible land located within the proposed easement area.

Forest management plans are required on all FRPP easements with forest cover on greater than 40 acres or 20 percent of the easement area (whichever is greater).

In addition to the above, the entity must include:

  • A copy of the signed easement offer with parcel legal description;
  • A listing of funding sources and amounts for each application;
  • A current aerial photograph with the easement area and local road network indicated;
  • A map of the proposed easement boundary; and
  • A completed proposed easement ranking sheet.

The maps and ranking sheet shall include only those lands for which the FRPP program funds are requested; not any exception areas located on the farm. The ranking sheet should contain the specific proposed easement details as well as the subsequent score. Details include:

  • Percent of prime, unique, and important farmland in the proposed easement;
  • Percent of cropland, pastureland, and grassland in the proposed easement;
  • Ratio of total acres in the proposed easement to the average farm size in the county;
  • Proximity of the proposed easement to other preserved farms, or land;
  • Proximity of the proposed easement to other agricultural operations and infrastructure

Additional Information:

National FRPP Website

Paddys Run Conservancy Project - FRPP Story

FRPP Perserves an Ohio Century Farm - FRPP Story

Contact Person:

Matthew Harbage - Program Manager