With 1,363 farms utilizing 186,154 acres, Ottawa County’s farms generate 534 million dollars in agricultural products (2012 Ag Census). This tremendous output places the County third statewide in the value of agricultural receipts. However, the reality is that farmland loss is happening at an alarming rate of 175 acres every hour all across the U.S., and Ottawa County is also at risk, regardless of its tremendous output and rich agricultural heritage.
One of the ways Ottawa County preserves its farmland is through purchasing development rights of prime agricultural land. The success of this voluntary program is dependent upon raising private donations to cover a portion of the purchase price of those development rights. The remaining balance is covered by landowner donation and a federal grant that can only be secured if the County raises private donations toward the purchase.
If you are interested in donating, tax-deductible contributions for this effort can be made online through this link to the Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland.
Donations can also be mailed to: 85 East 8th Street Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423.
Please put “Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Non-endowed Fund” in the memo.
For more information about farmland preservation efforts, please contact the Ottawa County Planning & Performance Improvement Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (616) 738-4852, or visit the website at www.miottawa.org/farmland.