Wisconsin lost nearly 1 million acres of farmland between 2010 and 2021. A bipartisan group of legislators led by Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, and Rep. Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, are trying to reverse the trend by reintroducing legislation to update the Farmland Preservation Program.
The bill incentivizes farmers to participate in the longstanding program that helps preserve farmland and safeguard soil and water by shortening the required length of participation and increasing the size of the tax credits offered.
“Since 1977, the farmland preservation program has helped Wisconsin farmers be good stewards of the land,” says Testin. “By revitalizing it, we’re investing in the future of our farmers and our environment.”
Farmers and conservation advocates have been supportive of previous attempts to improve the program.
“We’re making this program more responsive to the needs of farmers and the environment,” adds Oldenburg. “Our efforts have led to support from farmers, conservationists, and folks from across the political spectrum.”
The proposal will circulate for co-sponsorship until March 13.