A bill that would update requirements and financial incentives for farmers to participate in the Farmland Preservation Program passed through both houses of the state legislature this afternoon. Wisconsin Farm Bureau appreciates the bill authors and members of the legislature for passing this important update to a program that provides incentives for farmers to incorporate best practices on their farms.
“This bill has been in the works for several years and we would like to thank Sen. Testin and Rep. Oldenburg for their dedication to this issue that brought us to today,” said WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini. “This has been a very successful program but was desperately in need of the updates that this legislation provides.”
The program mandates farmers to develop and execute nutrient management plans, a task that carries significant responsibilities and vital benefits for the state’s soil and water quality. Over time, the costs incurred by farmers in complying with these nutrient management plans have surged. Consequently, interest in program participation has waned.
“This program is a win-win for Wisconsin agriculture and our environment,” said Mugnaini. “Increasing the financial incentives in the program to reflect current costs for farmers and allowing a more flexible timetable for enrollment will go a long way to help farmers continue to participate in the program.”
The bill reduces the mandatory minimum enrollment period from 15 years to 10 years, providing participants with greater flexibility for long-term planning while maintaining a strong commitment to preserving agricultural lands. It also increases financial incentives for farmers, bringing them in line with the rising costs of compliance.
This marks the first rate increase since 2009, making it a significant step forward in supporting the agricultural community.
“These adjustments are vital to sustaining participation in the program and safeguarding our farmland while improving soil and water quality across the state,” said Mugnaini. “We believe Gov. Evers understands the value of this program and hope to see the bill signed into law to help ensure the continued prosperity of Wisconsin’s agricultural sector.”