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Department of Strategic Impact

Farmland Protection

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.

This voluntary program works with landowners to preserve and protect eligible farms.

Donate to the Farmland Preservation Fund

Purchase of Development Rights Program

Ottawa County Farms

Ottawa County's Purchase of Development Rights Program is a voluntary program that preserves farmland by purchasing or receiving donations of development rights from an actively farmed property. Landowners are compensated for lost development potential, yet still own the land and retain all other rights associated with it. The land must continue to be used for agricultural purposes, or remain in a natural state perpetually regardless of transfer or sale of property.

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Events & More

Farms are the Tapas

Farms are the Tapas 2022 - Thursday, September 29
Save the Date! - Thursday, September 29, 2022

Virtual Silent Auction & Chef Cooking Competition

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MiFarmLink Project

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.

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Tour Our Protected Farms

Interact with our Protected Farms map

Interact with our Protected Farms map

Farmland Protection Strategy

Focus on Agriculture document

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.

Download Focus on Agriculture (PDF)