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Build In, Not Out

The presentations in this session from American Farmland Trust's Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference provide information about farmland protection programs at the state, regional and county levels that use planning and zoning to reduce farmland conversion and promote smart growth. Presenters will highlight approaches used within the context of comprehensive growth management as well as those that can be effective outside the policy framework.

The Land Connection

The Land Connection trains farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques; informs the public about the sources of our food and why that matters; and works to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy, delicious food.

The Land Connection’s classified section is a place to help find a farmer for your land, or find farmland to launch your farm business. This section can also help you find a mentor or intern. 

Land Link-Up

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service offers Land Link-Up, an online list where those seeking land to farm and farmland owners can post descriptions of farmland sought and of farmland for rent/sale along with contact information.

Wisconsin Beginning Farmer and Farm Asset Owner Tax Credit Statute

This law authorizes Beginning Farmer and Farm Asset Owner tax credits in Wisconsin.  The Beginning Farmer credit is is equal to the amount paid by the beginning farmer to enroll in a financial management program. The maximum credit is $500 and the credit is available on a one-time basis.  The Farm Asset Owner credit is equal to 15 percent of the lease amount received by the established farmer. The established farmer may only claim the credit for the first three years of any lease of the agricultural assets to a beginning farmer.

Planning for Agriculture in Wisconsin: A Guide for Communities

The purpose of this guide is to provide basic information to help Wisconsin’s rural communities prepare to plan for agriculture. The guide was developed in response to the Comprehensive Planning Law passed under the 1999-2001 Wisconsin State Biennial Budget. This law requires that by January 1, 2010, all programs, actions, and decisions affecting land use must be consistent with the locally adopted comprehensive plan in order for the community to continue making land use related decisions. The law applies to cities, villages, towns, counties, and regional planning commissions.

2012 Agricultural Enterprise Area Program Report

The Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA) program was created as part of the Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative in the 2009 - 2011 biennial budget (2009 Act 28). State statute authorizes the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to designate up to 1 million acres statewide as agricultural enterprise areas.

Since 2009, in Wisconsin 22 AEAs totaling nearly 510,000 acres in 17 counties and 55 towns have been designated.

Losing Ground: Tracking the Rate of Farmland Loss in Wisconsin Counties, 1992 - 2010

In 2009 the Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) conducted by the USDA in partnership with Iowa State University reported that more than 41 million acres of farmland in the United States were converted to developed uses from 1982 to 2007. This statistic underscores the concerns felt by many that the loss of farmland to urban development threatens the many benefits provided by the rural landscape; such as food production, wildlife habitat, and water infiltration.

Paying for Local Services: The Cost of Community Services for Nine Wisconsin Municipalities

The following report provides an analysis for nine Wisconsin communities of total revenue generated by each land use compared to total costs related to the land use, and quantifies the net fiscal impact of different types of land uses in the communities. An understanding of the fiscal costs and revenues generated by different types of land is important as policy makers grapple with issues of sprawl and Cost of Community Services increasing rates of farmland conversion.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is a non-profit organization with the mission to nurture the ecological, social and economic resiliency of food and farming systems through education, research, policy, and market development.

They envision an ever-creative cultural process in which farmers and consumers create agricultural landscapes with healthy regional systems of land use, food production and distribution.

Reducing Community Food Insecurity: A Review of Options

This brief reviews two options that come under the category of direct government involvement. Within this category, the type of involvement can vary from legislation mandating certain performance to prohibitory or restrictive policies. This paper will look at one of each that has recently been used in two cities in an attempt to improve the food insecurity issue in their respective communities. The first section will review the recently enacted Minneapolis ordinance that requires certain grocery stores to carry a minimum selection of perishable food items.

Regional Food Systems Infrastructure

In recent years, an emphasis on eating locally grown food has flourished. Amid concerns about the energy required to transport food around the globe, the environmental impacts of large-scale industrial farming operations, and food safety issues, many Americans have sought to direct more of their food-purchasing budget to producers located closer to home. Farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and efforts to strengthen connections between regional producers and consumers have grown exponentially to meet this demand; indeed, the number of farmers markets in the U.S.

The Regional Economic Development Potential and Constraints in Local Foods Development in the Midwest

There are no standard definitions of what constitutes "local" food amidst a burgeoning local food promotion and policy-development movement. Nonetheless, government policies are rapidly evolving to promote local food production. For most states, anything produced or processed in-state is considered local. In other instances, a 250 or even a 500 mile perimeter constitutes an acceptable boundary justifying a local food territory for policy making purposes or purchasing preferences.

Wisconsin: Local Smart Planning Grants Enabling Statute

This Wisconsin law supports planning efforts that achieve specific smart growth goals, such as: the redevelopment of lands with existing infrastructure and public services; the encouragement of neighborhood designs that support a range of transportation choices; the protection of natural areas, including wetlands, wildlife habitats, lakes, woodlands, open spaces and groundwater resources; the protection of economically productive areas, including farmland and forests, and, the encouragement of land uses, densities and regulations that promote efficient development patterns and relatively lo

The Cost of Community Services for Three Dane County Towns: Dunn, Perry and Westport

Over the past decade, the population of Dane County has grown by about 13 percent, adding approximately 46,000 new residents and making it the 9th fastest growing county in the state. In 1998, more than 4,000 housing units were built in the county, the largest number of units built since 1993. Population is projected to continue growing by a total of about 33 percent between 1990 and 2020. Population, housing and employment growth has created pressure for development and its necessary infrastructure investments.

Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative: Report from the Steering Committee

Wisconsin is at a turning point. The extensive farmland that established our character as the dairy state is rapidly disappearing to development in many parts of the state. The forested lands that built our paper and recreation industries are being sold as small, private lots. These changes
are essentially irreversible, and are accelerating.However, they are not inevitable results of economic growth and population increases. On the

Town of Dunn Cost of Community Services by Land Use

The purpose of this study is to show the breakdown of revenues generated and expenses incurred by land use type (Residential, Commercial and Agriculture/Forest/Open Space). The base year of 1993 was chosen because it was the most current year for which all the necessary information could be gathered. Initially the analysis shows that agriculture/forest/open space lands create the least burden on the taxpayers, while residential lands create the most.

A Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Facilitating Healthy Eating

Food nourishes us, enriches our celebrations, and sustains life itself. Yet not everyone in the United States has equal access to healthy food. Some of us live in neighborhoods where grocery stores carry a greater variety of potato chips than vegetables, while some of us cannot afford vegetables even when they are available. This report shows how planners can play a significant role in shaping the food environment of communities and thereby facilitate healthy eating.

Farmers' Markets Rules, Regulations and Opportunities

The purpose of this study is to examine the structure and operation of farmers’ markets in the United States, giving special attention to the legal and regulatory issues that may shape their operation. By looking at the rules and regulations markets use and by considering issues markets experience, it is possible to identify the most important challenges vendors and managers of markets may face. It is also possible to make some common sense suggestions on how markets can best address and resolve issues while maintaining their friendly and relatively informal nature.


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