Wisconsin Now Has 49 Ag Enterprise Areas

DATCP designated more than 21,000 acres in Green Lake and Sauk counties as new agricultural enterprise areas. The department also designated a modification to expand an existing AEA in Monroe County by more than 20,000 acres.

With these additions, there are now 49 AEAs statewide totaling 1,619,566 acres. They cover portions of 30 counties, 135 towns, and the Bad River Reservation.

AEA designations support local farmland protection goals, the agricultural economy, environmental efforts, and rural prosperity, DATCP says. Landowners within AEAs are eligible to enter into voluntary farmland preservation agreements. They can commit all or a portion of their farm to agricultural use and maintain soil and water conservation standards. In return, they may be eligible to claim the annual farmland preservation tax credit.

The new AEAs include:

  • Dellona AEA, Sauk County, includes more than 8,000 acres in the town of Dellona. Local governments and partners joined 11 landowners to petition for designation of this AEA. Petitioners hope to promote soil health principles and create a community for farmers to support financial and environmental stability.
  • Marquette AEA, Green Lake County, includes more than 13,000 acres in the towns of Marquette, Green Lake, and Kingston. Local government and partners joined seven landowners to petition for designation in this AEA. Petitioners hope to promote small scale agriculture and support regenerative agricultural practices to preserve their agricultural resources.

The modified AEA includes:

  • Scenic Ridge and Valley AEA, Monroe County, includes more than 20,000 new acres, for a total of more than 83,000 acres in the towns of Leon, Jefferson, Wells, and Portland. Local government and partners joined 42 landowners to petition for modification of this AEA. Petitioners hope to continue the strong history of farmers protecting soil and water resources within the La Crosse River watershed.

DATCP is accepting petitions to designate new or modify existing AEAs through Aug. 2. Find more information: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/FarmlandPreservation.aspx