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Bill would update Farmland Preservation Program

Wisconsin State Farmer

Lawmakers are hoping an amended bill updating the Farmland Preservation Program will spark enthusiasm and participation in the program.

Senator Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, and Representative Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, have authored the legislation, which is currently circulating for co-sponsorship.

According to a press release, the bill encourages farmers to participate in the longstanding program that helps preserve farmland and safeguard soil and water by making a number of changes - including shortening the required length of participation and increasing the size of the tax credit.

Patrick Testin

“Since 1977, the farmland preservation program has helped Wisconsin farmers be good stewards of the land,” said Sen. Testin. “By strengthening the farmland preservation program, we’re investing in the future of our farmers and our environment.”

Rep. Oldenburg, a dairy farmer, believes the bill is a win-win.

Rep. Loren Oldenburg

“Our efforts on this legislation have attracted support from farmers, conservationists, and folks from across the political spectrum,” he said. “By making this program more responsive to the needs of farmers, we believe we’ll see better outcomes for all involved.”

By releasing this proposal early in the legislative session, both lawmakers hope to build on the bi-partisan support the bill garnered last session when it passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture unanimously.