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 municipalities and citizens 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.

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, Agricultural Enterprise Areas, 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.

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. If you have questions regarding whether your land has been planned for farmland preservation, please contact your county land conservation department.

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.