MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The first 5,000 acres of Wisconsin farmland to be protected under a new program has been selected.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Wednesday that the land was in 16 farms in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Iowa, Jefferson, and Waupaca counties. The farms were selected from 36 applications under the new Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement program.
Under the program, the state will pay for up to half of the cost to purchase permanent easements. The landowner is compensated for the fair market value of the easements, but also retains ownership of the farm and continues to operate it. Other nonagricultural uses of the land is forbidden.
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