It was the proverbial good news, bad news: Union County Commissioners received more money than what they had guessed they would receive on rental of the county farm acreage, but they angered several local farmers in awarding the winning bid.

Layton L Yost, owner of LA-LYN Farms of Camden, Ohio, won the large farm parcel with a bid of $301 per acre on the 109.2-acre tract for a total of $31,394.30. The previous bid two years ago was $250 an acre, and commissioners said privately, in the months prior to the bidding, they would probably not get that much this time.

Local farmers were upset a person from outside the county and outside the state was bidding on the property.

Several farmers asked the bidding be limited to UC residents.

However, commissioners said that may not be legal. They asked auditor Cheryl Begley to check with the State Board of Accounts to see if they can limit bidding to county residents in three years when the land is up for bid again.

Travis Hughes, a local farmer, had the highest initial bid of $275 per acre. He went up to a certain point, about $290 an acre, and then stopped bidding. Another local farmer, Drew Ewing, then started bidding and went to $299 before dropping out.

Ewing received the bid for the smaller eight-acre tract. His bid of $100 per acre took that parcel.

When they left the commissioners' meeting room, several of the farmers who participated in the bidding were visibly upset.

“You guys ought to really look into doing the local thing because we pay enough taxes in this county,” Hughes said. “And we support all of our local businesses. Every farmer in this room does. That's something you should look into for the future.”

Begley told Hughes she plans on checking with the State Board of Accounts.

“I don't know if we can legally do that or not, but I'll give them (commissioners) the information, and then they'll know.”