Summer Day Camps
Equine Sales List
Tack for Sale
Purebred Arabian Horses
Half Arabian Horses
Pinto Arabian Horses
Why Buy Crabbet?
Spotted Saddlehorses & TWH
Everything about Breeding
A Tribute to the 4H of Geauga County
A Tribute to Hallelujah
Losing Ground to Development
Land Use Issue in Ohio
Story Books on horse breeds
WIW Farm Through the Seasons
The Baxter Black Corner
© Diatom Graphics
Windt im Wald
A Wind in the Woods
Geauga County, Northeast
The loss of farmland
and open space throughout the country has become a very important issue
in recent years. As more and more land becomes developed, an increasing
number of tools have been created to preserve the land that remains. Education
remains our best tool. Click here for the OSU Land Use Team
Farmland Preservation or Farm Welfare?
Just what is “Farmland Preservation”? I thought
the two words said it all, but not necessarily so. My simplistic way said
Farmland Preservation was keeping farmland in production, keeping the county
Green and keeping new non-AG development to a minimum. Now I realize I could
not have been more wrong.
To have real farmland preservation we need
to grow the number of profitable farms in the county, not throw tax money
at an unprofitable farm that that cannot survive on its own merits and call
it Farmland Preservation.
As Geauga County has grown many large
tracts of land used for more traditional farming, i.e. dairy, hog, and grain,
have been converted to housing developments. A new phenomenon, the Equine
Farm. Though not counted in AG statistics, equine farming is the fastest
growing industry in Geauga County. Most equine farms are small, often on
less than 20 acre plots of land and located close to, and sometimes in,
the developments that were once a large traditional farm. These small farms
are often the principal occupation of the farmer, creating more full-time
farmers in the county.
What is unique about these new farms is their
economic impact on the county and state. They are cash cows bringing money
and jobs to an otherwise depressed farming industry. Horse farms and stables
are growing at a rate of 2-3 per year according to a study in 1997 authored
by Agent Randy James of The Ohio State University Extension. Compare this
growth to only one 120-acre farm saved in the county by Farmland Preservation
over the past ten years using tax dollars! The same study shows gross sales
per farm are $100,000 for horses, $80,000 for greenhouse and nursery, $50,000
for dairy, and $28,000 for all farms.
I hope we can all support
REAL farmland preservation by letting the free market prevail.
Windt im Wald Farm
Copy of study "The Changing Agricultural
Community in Geauga County, Ohio 1990-1997" is available from
E James, Ph.D.
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Ohio State University Extension Geauga County
Rd., P.O. Box 387
Burton, Ohio 44021