Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership Project - American Farmland Trust

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Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership

Wisconsin joins forces to protect vital farmland

In 2009, Wisconsin passed the Working Lands Initiative, creating the state’s first ever Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements program. After funding one round of easements, however, no additional resources were allocated to the program, creating a significant hurdle for farmers seeking options to keep their land available for agriculture forever.

The Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership Project seeks to address the need for increased agricultural conservation easement funding in the state. The partnership, funded by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program, plans to slow the loss of vital agricultural land by accelerating permanent Wisconsin farmland protection statewide.

News and Upcoming Events

Check here for updates, new research, and how to join an upcoming workshop!

What’s at stake when Wisconsin loses its agricultural land?

Agriculture contributes nearly $105 billion to Wisconsin’s economy and over 11% of the state’s employment. As agricultural land disappears, so do jobs and businesses that rely on that land. Farmland also provides a significant opportunity for improving the state’s environmental resources and helping meet the increasing challenges of a changing climate.

Through our partnership, we hope to provide opportunities for community members and farmers that will help protect Wisconsin farm and agricultural land.

Looking ahead, an additional 515,200 acres of farmland will be compromised by 2040 if recent development trends continue. This is the equivalent to losing 2,400 farms, $377 million in farm output and 6,400 agricultural jobs.

Project Goals

The Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership

The goals of the Wisconsin Farmland Protection Partnership Project are to:

  • Dramatically increase the number of farms and acres permanently protected in the next five years.
  • Utilize easement dollars strategically, where they are most needed.
  • Leverage partner contributions to access federal funding for conservation practices to increase regenerative agricultural practices on protected land.
  • Demonstrate to state decision makers that agricultural conservation easements can effectively preserve the state’s agricultural land base and advocate for state funding in support of agricultural conservation easements.
  • Increase farmland access and tenure opportunities for historically marginalized and underserved farmers.

Project Partners

Thank you to our partners for working together to protect Wisconsin farmland, conservation easements, and regenerative agricultural practices!

For more information, contact: