With area farmers producing more than $506 million in products annually (2017 Ag Census), Ottawa County is an agricultural powerhouse. Ottawa is also the fastest growing county in the state and has a low unemployment rate. But this positive growth comes at a cost to agriculture: between 2012 and 2017, Ottawa County lost 8% of its farmed acreage and 17% of its farms. Ottawa County’s Farmland Preservation Program seeks to protect this vital industry.
Farmland Protection Strategy
In early 2019, Ottawa County surveyed agricultural land owners to learn how we can best support our agriculture industry, making it more economically robust and protected for future generations. The result of this survey, the Farmland Preservation Survey Results and Recommendations document, was used to develop the Ottawa County’s Focus on Agriculture economic development plan.
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the County $44,885 to build up its local support system for new and prospective farmers. The result was the MiFarmLink Project. This joint public-private initiative is connecting those looking to get started in the business of ag with the resources and skills they need to be successful.Learn More
Purchase of Development Rights Program
A voluntary program that permanently protects farmland by acquiring the development rights in exchange for a cash payment.Learn More