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MADISON – In response to petitions submitted by landowners and local governments, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has designated over 88,000 acres as agricultural enterprise areas (AEAs) in Chippewa, Dodge, Dunn, Green Lake, and Outagamie counties. There are currently 43 AEAs in the state totaling 1.4 million acres located in portions of 28 counties, 119 towns, and the Bad River Reservation. An AEA designation identifies land important to Wisconsin’s agricultural future that supports local farmland protection goals, the agricultural economy, environmental efforts, and rural prosperity.
Designations include the Town of Grant AEA, Chippewa and Dunn counties: Adds 5,095 acres in the town of Otter Creek that includes a strong producer-led network supporting conservation and preservation. Previously designated in 2014, this AEA now has 31,140 acres in the towns of Grant, Colfax, Sand Creek, Otter Creek, and Cooks Valley. The AEA will continue to expand on promoting nutrient management planning to encourage protection of local water resources and preserve agricultural lands for future generations. Local contact: Travis Drier, conservation planner – nutrient management specialist, (715) 232-1496, email@example.com
Other designations include Cicero Blackmour AEA, Outagamie County; St. Marie AEA, Green Lake County; and Town of Westford AEA, Dodge County.
Land located in an AEA provides landowners the option to sign a farmland preservation agreement. Agreements provide protections for certain uses of local lands while allowing the landowner 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.
AEAs are a part of the Wisconsin Farmland Preservation Program, administered by DATCP. DATCP has the authority to designate up to two million acres for AEAs. For more information on AEAs, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/AgriculturalEnterpriseAreas.aspx. For more information on the Farmland Preservation Program, visit https://farmlandpreservation.wi.gov.
Submit a 2021 AEA Petition
If you are interested in starting an AEA or modifying an existing one, you may submit a petition to DATCP until August 1, 2021. A minimum of five landowners and their local government(s) must file the petition jointly. To begin the petition process, contact your local government or county land conservation department. Petition materials are available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/AEAPetitionInfo.aspx. For information and resources to help prepare a petition, contact Wednesday Jordan at (608) 224-4611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.