MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting petitions until June 19, 2020, to designate new and to modify existing agriculture enterprise areas (AEAs). An 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. A petition may take months to prepare to gather information and engage local landowners.
Petition materials are available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/
What Are AEAs?
An AEA establishes an option for landowners to sign a farmland preservation agreement. Agreements provide protections for certain uses of local lands while allowing the landowners the opportunity to claim the farmland preservation tax credit. AEAs also provide an opportunity to reinforce future land use goals and preserve agricultural lands, soil, and water resources. Interested landowners should contact their local government or county land conservation department to begin the petition process.
DATCP has authority to designate up to two million acres for AEAs. As of January 1, Wisconsin has a total of 40 AEA designations with almost 1.4 million acres in 112 towns, 27 counties, and the Bad River Reservation. Since 2010, over 1,500 Wisconsin farmland owners supported petitions for designation of an AEA.
To learn more about DATCP’s AEA Program, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/