Adam Sharp

When it comes to economic development, parts of Ohio are booming.

Major businesses are choosing our state to expand their footprint, and with that growth comes more jobs, more people and, most challenging, additional competition for land as towns become cities and the line between rural and urban is blurred even more.

This is nothing new for Ohio. In fact, 50 years ago urban sprawl was a concern of Ohio Farm Bureau members. There was justifiable anxiety that rapid development would drive up farmland property values and push farmers off of their land through increases in property taxes. Thankfully, that didn’t happen because of the newly created CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Value Program.

Since its inception five decades ago, Ohio Farm Bureau has been constantly working to make sure CAUV works in an ever-changing agricultural environment. We led the way in program reforms in both 2015 and 2017 that made data in the formula more timely, reformed the capitalization rate to reflect the current farm economy and ensured that conservation lands were fairly valued.

Is the formula perfect? Absolutely not. Is CAUV still saving Ohio Farm Bureau members money on their tax bills? Without a doubt! In 2023, the taxable CAUV value was a mere 29% of the same property’s taxable market value. That adds up to real savings, really fast.

When it comes to CAUV, Ohio Farm Bureau is not only a valuable asset to our members. Our staff, along with their years of experience with the program, have become reliable resources for those who have questions about it, including landowners, lawmakers and even county auditors themselves who look for guidance on how to administer CAUV. No other organization can say that, and the value that knowledge brings to our members and interested parties will continue for the next 50 years.

You will learn all about the history of CAUV in this issue of Our Ohio, along with how the program impacts the economics of the family farm, its impact on conservation and farmland preservation, and the future of the program. On page 18 you can read a special column from President Bill Patterson. His message: Don’t take CAUV for granted. Just because the program is established doesn’t mean it’s not a target for powerful interest groups.

Ohio Farm Bureau is heavily involved and actively working on a solution to current CAUV challenges that will offer all property owners across Ohio a clear and predictable tax valuation system to ensure that Ohio agriculture remains the state’s No. 1 industry.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
Kevin Holy's avatar
Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
David Thomas's avatar
David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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