USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for its Fiscal Year 2015 Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). Funds will be available for the purchase of conservation easements on eligible agricultural lands in Wisconsin. Applications must be completed by January 16, 2015.
An upcoming webinar will focus on the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) tool for protecting farmland. American Farmland Trust will join the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for the webinar from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov, 13. Please note that the call-in information for the webinar has changed.
Rock County in south central Wisconsin has taken a big step toward permanently protecting some of Wisconsin’s best farmland. The County Board voted 21-4 in September 2014 to approve an annual appropriation of $200,000 to support the county’s Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements program. The county sales tax will be the source of revenue this year.
Advice from Matt Zoshke, an organizer of Wisconsin’s largest agricultural enterprise area (AEA): Be willing to work with the farmers in your area and understand their concerns. That and a lot of cooperative, creativity and hard work went into establishment of the Heart of America’s Dairyland AEA in Clark and Marathon counties. It also didn’t hurt that Zoshke, the Clark County conservationist, has a farm background and is well-known in the agriculture community.