OSU selling multiple properties in Wayne County

OSU selling multiple properties in Wayne County

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Recently, in a letter sent out to employees in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Studies, formerly known as the OARDC, Ohio State announced its intention to sell seven parcels consisting of over 600 acres of Wayne County land.

The properties to be sold include Hawk’s Nest Golf Course, nearly 200 acres located north of Wooster on state Route 3, and the more than 300 acres of Mellinger Farm, 6723 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster.

Scott Myers of Woodlyn Acres Farm has been leasing the Mellinger Farm property along with his father since 2014.

“I actually found out two weeks ago,” Myers said when asked about the sale of the property that he and his father have converted from a conventional to a certified organic farm. “If we can continue working the land, we will keep it as is, and they can continue their research.”

The Myers are concerned they may be priced out of their ability to purchase the land. The 324-acre farm, established about 200 years ago by Wayne County pioneer Benedict Mellinger, was donated in 2002 by Patricia Miller Quinby and the estate of her late sister, Virginia Miller Reed, both descendants of Mellinger. The Killbuck Land Trust holds a conservation easement that ensures the farm will remain in agricultural use.

Full ownership of the Mellinger Farm was transferred to OSU in 2009, and an advisory committee led by AMP is planning the farm’s development as a showcase of sustainable agriculture research and practice, according to OSU’s website.

Anne Dorrance, associate dean and director for the Wooster campus and associate director for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in Ohio State’s CFAES, said the land sale will be handled by a broker. “We will be very transparent about that,” she said. “Signs will go up in a couple of weeks.”

Dorrance also indicated there have been many projects completed, underway and planned for the Wooster campus. She said the land sales are financially necessary at this time.

“These properties no longer meet our land-grant mission or have not been utilized,” Dorrance said. “The cost of the inputs is beyond what our college could bear at this time to bring them up to the standards expected of a premier public land grant institution.”

In addition to Hawks Nest, built and opened in the 1990s by the late Earl and Betty Hawkins before being donated to Ohio State in 2007 for use by OSU ATI students, and the Mellinger Farm, other properties to be listed for sale are as follows:

—Grosjean East, a 38-acre farm property located at 2145 Millersburg Road, Wooster, approximately 1⁄4 mile from campus and originally acquired in 1945.

—Grosjean West, a 31-acre property of undeveloped, wooded land located on Prairie Lane Road, approximately 3⁄4 mile from campus and originally acquired in 1945.

—Apple Creek Village, a 26-acre property of undeveloped land located off/near Millborne Road, Apple Creek, contiguous to other CFAES property but bordered on three sides by land within the Village of Apple Creek. The area was part of a 1,725-acre acquisition from the State of Ohio in 2001.

—1427 Dover Road (state Route 83), a 3.9-acre property that was a dormitory for the Wooster campus until the building was demolished in 2018. The site is the sole OSU property on the south side of this portion of state Route 83 and was originally acquired in 1983.

—Dover Road Excess Parcel, an adjacent landowner in Wayne County has expressed interest in purchasing approximately 3 acres from a larger 35-acre tract located on Dover Road. OSU will retain sufficient access rights to maintain service to the remaining property, which was originally acquired in 1954.