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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
Petition Period Opens for 2020 Ag Enterprise Areas
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/04/2018

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture will soon be accepting petitions for Agricultural Enterprise Areas to be designated in 2020. Agricultural enterprise areas, or AEAs, are blocks of land that are primarily in agricultural use for farming and for businesses that serve the farming sector. They are created when at least five landowners and their local governments petition for an AEA designation and the department approves the petition.

AEA designation does not limit land use within the area or protect it from development. It does allow farmers within the AEA to receive tax credits of $5-$10 per acre if they enter into farmland preservation agreements with the department. The designation can also be used with local planning and zoning, conservation easements, agriculture economic development incentives, and other tools to support farming and the local farm economy.

"AEAs help provide farmers and agribusinesses invest with more confidence that there will be an infrastructure to support their operations into the future," said Lacey Cochart, administrator of DATCP's Bureau of Land and Water Resources division. "They are one of a range of tools that rural communities can use to help maintain a farming base for their economies."

Cochart encouraged petitioners to involve their communities in the petition process to be sure they have support.

Materials are available online at http://datcp.wi.gov by searching for 'petition materials.' Completed petitions are due to DATCP on June 21, 2019. Applications must be completed jointly by local landowners and local government officials. Prospective petitioners should notify the department of their intent to apply, so they can receive announcements of workshops or webinars to help them prepare their petitions.

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