Bill To Revitalize Farmland Preservation Passes Senate

Efforts that began in 2019 to reform Wisconsin’s farmland preservation program appear ready to bear fruit. This legislation was crafted by a bi-partisan group of legislators led by Senator Patrick Testin (Stevens Point) and Representative Loren Oldenburg (Viroqua). It has passed both houses of the legislature and now needs only the Governor’s signature to become law. 

Wisconsin lost one million acres of farmland between 2010 and 2021 – highlighting the urgent need for the bill.

“Once farmland is taken out of production, it’s doubtful that it will ever serve an agricultural purpose again,” noted Senator Testin. “By revitalizing this program, we’re ensuring the continuation of Wisconsin’s agricultural heritage.”

Farmers and conservation advocates alike have been supportive of the bill. It incentivizes farmers to participate in the longstanding program that helps preserve farmland and safeguard soil and water. The bill accomplishes this by shortening the required length of participation and increasing the size of the tax credits offered.

“As a fourth generation farmer, I know the value and importance of preserving our farmland,” said Rep. Oldenburg. “We’ve assembled a broad coalition who recognize the importance of healthy soil, clean water, and a robust agricultural economy.”

November 30th is the next date when bills are scheduled to be sent to the Governor.