Farmland Preservation Planning: Information for Landowners

​​​​​​​​A farmland preservation plan is a​ nonbinding guidance document that establishes a vision for the future of agriculture in Wisconsin counties.  A farmland preservation plan identifies the state of agriculture in the county, anticipates future trends, and maps land that a county projects will stay in agricultural use for the next 15 years. 

In addition, a farmland preservation plan makes counties, towns, cities, villages and farmland owners eligible to participate in other parts of the farmland preservation program. Once a county farmland preservation plan is certified, it establishes the opportunity to designate an Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) and/or certify a farmland preservation zoning district.

What does it mean if my land is planned for farmland preservation? 

Having your land planned into a county farmland preservation plan area does not restrict the use of your land. It does, however, make landowners within the plan boundary eligible for state programs such as farmland preservation zoning, AEAs, and farmland preservation agreements. These elements of the program, which build upon the foundation of the farmland preservation plan, can apply land use restrictions to the land.​

How do I determine if my land has been planned for farmland preservation? ​

Most certified farmland preservation plans are available on county webpages. Each plan contains maps which identify the areas that have been planned for farmland preservation. General plan boundaries may be reviewed in the Farmland Preservation Program Interactive Map. If you have specific questions regarding whether your land has been planned for farmland preservation, please contact your county land conservation or planning and zoning department.

What if my land is not planned for farmland preservation and I would like it to be? 

Farmland preservation plan maps may be amended to add areas from the certified plan area. Each amendment must be initiated by the county. Areas added into the plan must meet the mapping criteria for the farmland preservation plan area that is identified in the farmland preservation plan text.​