2021 Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) Petitions Cycle

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is currently accepting petitions until August 2, 2021, to designate new and to modify existing AEAs. An AEA designation provides tools to support farmland protection, conservation, and the local farm economy. An new AEA proposal must be submitted to the department in the form of a petition which illustrates the importance of the area to the local and state agricultural community. 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 on the Petitioning for Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) Designation webpage. Petitioners who notify DATCP of their intent to apply will receive information about workshops, webinars, and other resources to help prepare the petition. Interested petitioners can notify: Wednesday Jordan at (608) 224-4611 or [email protected].AEAs are a part of the Wisconsin Farmland Preservation Program administered by DATCP. DATCP has the authority to designate up to two million acres of AEAs. For more information, visit http://farmlandpreservation.wi.gov

Accepting Farmland Preservation Agreement Applications

Landowners within an AEA who are interested in strengthening their commitment to farming and conservation of their lands may consider signing a farmland preservation agreement.These are 15-year voluntary agreements between eligible landowners and the state to preserve agricultural lands and protect soil and water resources. Agreement holders that meet all eligibility requirements may claim the farmland preservation tax credit. The tax credit can be either $5/acre for lands within one of the state’s Agricultural Enterprise Areas, or $10/acre for lands within a farmland preservation zoning district and an AEA.Interested landowners can visit the Apply for a Farmland Preservation Agreement webpage for the agreement application and additional information about farmland preservation agreements. Interested applicants can contact us at (608) 224-4611 or [email protected] with any questions.

Want to learn more about the AEA program and the state’s existing AEAs? Head over to the Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) Program homepage to check out the newest AEA Snapshots highlighting the diverse farming communities and unique goals of each AEA in the state. 

Don’t see a Snapshot for your local AEA? Contact us at [email protected]to work with a farmland preservation team member to get started today!

Intro to Farmland Preservation Trainings Available

Virtual Intro to the Farmland Preservation Program trainings is being offered by DATCP staff to all counties and partners. The training is offered by request and reviews the different aspects of the program, participation options, county administration process and an overview of the county’s current program. This training is available to all that engage with the FP program and is valuable to anyone familiar or new to the farmland preservation program. Please contact [email protected] to set up a training.