Farmland Preservation Planning

​A county farmland preservation plan establishes trends and resources related to agriculture, documents policies and goals related to farmland protection and identifies lands that will remain in agricultural use for the foreseeable future. Counties with agricultural lands can use a farmland preservation plan to guide conservation and preservation efforts in the county. This plan also acts as the foundation for other aspects of the farmland preservation program including certified zoning, agricultural enterprise areas (AEAs) and farmland preservation agreements. The planning process is an opportunity for different levels of local government to cooperate and build relationships. A county is encouraged to include local towns, cities and village’s land use plans and engage with local stakeholders to draft the plan. When a county plans for farmland preservation, they are acknowledging that agricultural lands are integral to the future of that community.

​​​A Farmland Preservation Plan: 

  • Establishes a local vision for agricultural preservation, agricultural development, and the development of agricultural enterprises at the county level 
  • Is a nonbinding guidance document which can help counties and towns establish policies to protect farmland for the fu​ture 
  • Makes counties and towns eligible to participate in other parts of the Farmland Preservation Program such as Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEAs) and Farmland Preservation Zoning
  • Does not impose land use restrictions by itself​
  • Does not create farmland preservation tax credit eligibility by itself. New participants can establish tax credit eligibility through enrollment in farmland preservation zoning, farmland preservation agreements in AEAs or both.  ​

Fields, Waters and Woods AEA. Photo by Ashland County
Planning and Preserving Wisconsin's Farmland on WPR​​

Listen to Wednesday Jordan, Farmland Preservation Program Manager, discuss farmland preservation planning with Larry Meiller on the Larry Meiller Show, August 31, 2022.