The Battle To Keep Farmland – Farmland

Momentum is building on efforts to revamp and improve Wisconsin’s decades old Farmland Preservation Program. Helping to lead the way is Wisconsin Senator, Pat Testin from Stevens Point and Assembly Representative, Loren Oldenburg of Viroqua.

Testin says most people don’t realize that the state lost nearly one million acres of farmland between 2010 and 2021. Some of that farmland might have been saved if a more attractive farmland preservation plan was in place.

The bill as it stands, 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,” said Senator 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,” noted Rep. Oldenburg. “Our efforts have led to support from farmers, conservationists, and folks from across the political spectrum.”

So far 13 senators and 16 representatives have signed up in support of the proposal.