The Wisconsin Towns Association has been selected to host five one-day workshops throughout the state in December on the future of Wisconsin's working lands, announced the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The first round of workshops sponsored by WTA will present information on tools available to balance the need to protect rural areas for use as farmland, open space and wooded acreage with the need for development for homes and businesses to accommodate local growth. The public is invited to participate.
"Wisconsin needs to continue to provide homes and commercial and industrial development for a growing population. But there is also a need to protect the land base and its long-term ability to produce food, fiber, and products for the bio-economy," explained Rod Nilsestuen, DATCP Secretary. "These daylong workshops will continue the educational process and dialogue related to tools available and the need for policies that conserve our working lands in Wisconsin," Nilsestuen said.
The WTA along with the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Council of Rural Initiatives, and the West Central Regional Planning Commission will join the state agriculture department and the American Farmland Trust to conduct these working lands workshops.
Each session is 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with lunch included. The fee is $35 per person. The dates and locations are:
- Monday, Dec. 8, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, 1305 Kalahari Dr., Wisconsin Dells
- Tuesday, Dec. 9, 29 Pines-Sleep Inn and Conference Center, 5872 33rd Ave., Eau Claire
- Tuesday, Dec. 16, Liberty Hall, 800 Eisenhower Dr., Kimberly
- Wednesday, Dec. 17, New Holiday Inn and Convention Center, 1001 Amber Ave., Stevens Point
- Thursday, Dec. 18, Jansen's Banquet Hall, 1245 Whitewater Ave., Fort Atkinson
"The Wisconsin Towns Association, local governments and other sponsors of these workshops are responsible for making sound land use decisions. The workshops will help our membership and the public understand the importance of good decisions and the ways to keep farmland and other working lands productive," said Rick Stadelman, WTA Executive Director.
The workshops will also feature a presentation by Bob Wagner, Sr., the American Farmland Trust Director for Farmland Protection Programs. Wagner has extensive experience in farmland protection efforts at national, state and local levels and will report on the national trends and what other states and communities are doing to protect farmland.
DATCP will also provide information on the components of the Working Lands Initiative proposal. More information on the department's proposal can be found at datcp.state.wi.us/workinglands/index.jsp.
Workshop registration, directions and an agenda will soon be available on the WTA website at www.wisctowns.com or contact the Towns Association at (715) 526-3157 or send an email to [email protected].