New Agricultural Enterprise Areas Available Jan. 1, 2016

Wisconsin will hit the one million-acre mark with the designation of new and expanded agricultural enterprise areas for 2015, Sec. Ben Brancel announced. The new acreage will become official Jan. 1, after Brancel signs orders creating two new agricultural enterprise areas, or AEAs, and expanding an existing one. Wisconsin will then have 31 AEAs totaling more than one million acres in 23 counties, 92 towns and the Bad River Reservation. The one modified and two new AEAs total about 90,000 acres in Eau Claire, Outagamie and Monroe counties.

AEAs may be created or expanded when at least five landowners, in partnership with local governments, petition the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for the designation. They are part of Wisconsin’s farmland preservation program, intended to encourage preservation of agricultural land use and to promote agricultural economic development appropriate to each area.

To date, landowners in ag enterprise areas have signed nearly 490 farmland preservation agreements, covering 104,000 acres. Landowners outside designated AEAs who want to participate should work with their neighbors and local governments to petition for AEA status. Petition materials are available at


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