The structure and funding to keep working lands working.
What’s the OAHP? It’s the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program and one of our core policy priorities. The OAHP is a new government grant program for farmers and ranchers to help protect their lands.
2022: $5m was approved for OAHP.
2017: OAHP was signed into law.
In the spring of 2022, the Oregon Legislature approved $5 million for the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP) – the first appropriation to the program since it was signed into law in 2017.
The new funding enables working landowners like farmers and ranchers to not only access the newly appropriated $5 million in state funds, but also millions in similar federal funds intended to keep working lands working.
Our work is not done! It is crucial that the program continues to receive funding in the coming years. That is why COLT is supporting the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s funding request of $10 million for the program for the 2023-2025 biennium.
Grant Applications Are Open
The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has now opened applications for 2 grant opportunities through the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program.
Application due October 31. The purpose of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is to develop and implement conservation measures or other protections for maintaining or enhancing fish or wildlife habitat, water quality or other natural resource values in a manner consistent with the social and economic interests and abilities of the agricultural landowner or operator.
Application due October 31. The purpose of a working land conservation covenant or easement funded through OAHP is to preserve and protect the continued use of a working land for agricultural purposes, and maintain or enhance fish or wildlife habitat, water quality, or other natural resource values on the land.
Why do we need the OAHP?
Agriculture at risk:
Agriculture is at risk. In this transition, productive land and associated habitat are vulnerable to sale for non-farm uses, fragmentation into unviable parcel sizes, and eventual development. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture confirms that Oregon continues to lose farmland.Read the OAHP Coalition’s press release here.
Lost Federal dollars:
A federal program exists to permanently protect US agricultural land - NRCS’s Agricultural Land Easement program (ACEP-ALE). In the past, most of the federal funds in this program were going to other states; Oregon has received only 0.4% of these funds because the state did not have a matching state funding source. The newly funded OAHP will allow farmers and ranchers to access not only state funding, but use that state funding to leverage millions in similar federal funds through ACEP-ALE.
Governor Signs OAHP
Governor Kate Brown Signs Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program Salem, Oregon (September 19, 2017): At a signing ceremony today, Governor Kate Brown put her support behind the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (HB 3249). This landmark bill creates a suite of tools designed to help farmers and ranchers pass their legacies on to the next generation. These […]
C2 Cattle Ranch in Jackson County, protected with a conservation easement by the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
The OAHP Coalition
Who developed this Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program? The Governor’s oﬃce convened a work group with representatives from a diverse coalition of agricultural and conservation organizations to develop a synergistic suite of programs to address both farm and ranch succession and land preservation.
The work group consisted of:
And one farmer and one rancher representative.