FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2023
Contact: Madelyn Adler, Public Information Officer, (608) 419-3851, email@example.com
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) designated more than 40,000 acres across Green Lake and Saint Croix counties as Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEA) this year. There are currently 47 AEAs across Wisconsin, totaling more than 1.57 million acres and spanning portions of 30 counties, 130 towns, and the Bad River Reservation.
AEA designations are important to Wisconsin' s agricultural future and support local farmland protection goals, the agricultural economy, environmental efforts, and rural prosperity. Landowners within designated AEAs are eligible to enter into voluntary farmland preservation agreements committing all or a portion of their farm to agricultural use and maintaining state soil and water conservation standards. In return, they may be eligible to claim the annual farmland preservation tax credit.
The 2023 AEAs include:
- Stanton Farmland Heritage Preservation AEA, located in Saint Croix County, includes more than 23,000 acres in the towns of Cylon, Stanton, and Star Prairie. Local governments and partners joined 24 landowners to petition for designation of this AEA. Petitioners in this close-knit community want to promote conservation practices to preserve their agricultural resources for future generations.
Local contact: Max Erickson, land use technician, (715) 531-1909
- Town of Princeton AEA, located in Green Lake County, includes more than 17,000 acres in the towns of Princeton and Brooklyn. Local government and partners joined seven landowners to petition for designation of this AEA. Petitioners want to preserve the local farming economy and support local agricultural related business within the AEA.
Local contact: Todd Morris, county conservationist, (920) 294-4052
DATCP is accepting petitions to designate new or modify existing AEAs through July 28, 2023. The AEA designation provides tools to support farmland protection, conservation, and the local farm economy. A minimum of five landowners and their local governments must file a petition jointly.
Petition materials are available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/AEAPetitionInfo.aspx. A petition may take months to prepare in order to gather information and engage local landowners. Anyone interested in submitting a petition can request information on workshops, webinars, and other resources by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 224-4611.
About Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEAs)
AEAs are community-led efforts to establish designated areas important to Wisconsin's agricultural future. As a part of the state's Farmland Preservation Program, AEAs strive to support local farmland protection goals. Through this designation, communities can encourage continued agricultural production and investment in the local agricultural economy.
Eligible landowners within an AEA can sign a 15-year farmland preservation agreement committing all or a portion of their farm to agricultural use and maintaining state soil and water conservation standards. In return, they may be eligible to claim the farmland preservation tax credit.
To learn more about AEAs and the Farmland Preservation Program, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/AgriculturalEnterpriseAreas.aspx. To start or join a current AEA, contact the county land conservation department in the county where your land is located.
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