Harrison County's agricultural heritage runs deep. As a part of the Seven ranges of Ohio, established by the Northwest Territories Act in 1787, the area was the first part of the wilderness opened to westward expansion. By the 1790s, farmers from the east were settling in the area which later became Harrison County and began carving farmland from the wilderness forests.
By the late 19th Century, Harrison County had become a major center for wool production, and legend has it that the merino sheep was introduced to this country when a few of the animals were smuggled out of Spain, destined for Harrison County. The limestone content of the local soils was said to produce an exceptional quality of wool.
The 20th Century brought surface mining of Harrison County's coal reserves, resulting in the disruption of a large portion of the farmland in the county. The surface mining of coal has diminished significantly over the past couple of decades, and properly reclaimed strip mined land is being returned to agricultural use, providing excellent grazing and hay production.
Today, Harrison County boasts more than 400 farms, with an average size of more than 250 acres. More than 110,000 acres of Harrison County are devoted to agricultural use today, with total cash receipts for agricultural products exceeding $11 million annually.