Development, Food and Farm on ‘Town Hall Ohio’

Ohio is a unique state. We have 11.5 million people, and for virtually every one of us, there’s a farm within a 20 or 30 minute drive. Both urban and rural Ohioans desire a strong local economy and a fulfilling quality of life. 

Your Farm Bureau membership is helping make that happen through conversations like this one recently featured on Town Hall Ohio.

Brian Williams, agriculture specialist for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Matthew Brown, planning administrator for the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department, and Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of Capital Crossroads Special Improvement Districts in Columbus, visit with Town Hall Ohio’s Joe Cornely to discuss the connection between local foods, urban development and farmland preservation.

The guests said that they believe that the fate of both urban areas and rural can be enhanced by supporting each other, in large part, through a food economy. A Farm Bureau priority issue, Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV), entered into the conversation as well.

CAUV taxes property on its value as productive farmland rather than its development value. This makes CAUV an important farmland preservation strategy that those who work in urban development recognize and value.

“The irony of this is…we’re tax abating land for strip malls…at the same time were allowing the agriculture use taxes to go up,” Ricksecker said.

Williams noted that a lot of people are “mistakenly” calling CAUV a “tax break for farmers, which it’s not. It’s merely taxing the land for the way it’s being used.”

This discussion was a great example of building alliances with a wide range of groups and individuals to collaborate on Farm Bureau priority issues. Remember, membership makes it happen.

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