The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board is pleased to announce the results from its recently released Farms – Food – Forever fundraising campaign. To-date, $26,125 has been donated in support of farmland preservation in Ottawa County.
The Board’s short-term goal is to raise a total of $36,000 in order to help permanently preserve its second local farm. The more money that is raised, however, will allow more local farming operations to be preserved.
The Board permanently preserved its first farm in September 2016, which was a 35 acre hog and cattle farm in Polkton Township. The second farm that has applied to be preserved as part of the County’s farmland preservation program is a 55 acre operation in Chester Township.
The County’s Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program, which is administered by the Preservation Board, is a voluntary program that preserves farmland through the purchase and donation of development rights for actively farmed property. The PDR Program is funded through individual and corporate donations, as well as contributions from foundations and federal grant awards. Without these sources, the Program would not be able to continue to preserve and protect local farmland.
“It has never been more important that we provide future generations with a legacy of productive farmland that will continue to supply fresh, quality local food,” stated Cliff Meeuwsen, Chair of the Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board and President of Zeeland Farm Services. This need is underscored by the fact that Ottawa County is not only the fastest growing county in the State of Michigan in terms of population growth, but also the most agriculturally diverse county in the State as well as ranked in the Top 100 of all counties nationwide for its value of agricultural products sold.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Fund, contributions can be made online at www.cfhz.org. The Fund is managed by The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.