Even before its designation as an agricultural enterprise area (AEA) in 2019, the Town of Troy AEA in St. Croix County was working with landowners to preserve its agricultural heritage through farmland protection policies. With 10,800 acres of farmland in the AEA, the goals of the AEA include:
- Furthering the town’s vision of preserving large tracts of farmland for the future.
- Utilizing protected farmlands as “sending areas” under the town’s Transfer of Development Rights program.
- Promoting cluster development where appropriate to maximize open space areas.
- Promoting policies that permanently protect prime farmland.
The St. Croix County Land and Water Conservation Division partners with Troy landowners to maximize the benefits of participating in farmland preservation programming. Nutrient management planning is one of the requirements to participate in the program and there are more than 3,000 acres of farmland in the township under a plan. The county routinely works with landowners on conservation practices such as waste storage abandonment, installation of grassed waterways, wetland scrapes, and streambank stabilizations. The county is also working on a sinkhole inventory, well monitoring project, and a ground and surface water study to evaluate nitrate levels countywide to protect water quality and natural resource.
Located between the Twin Cities and River Falls, Troy faces development pressures because of its prime farmland and shoreline. The AEA adds to the town’s local policies, such as its Transfer of Development Rights program, and gives landowners the choice to sign a farmland preservation agreement. In these agreements, which last a minimum of 15 years, a landowner agrees to commit all or some of their farm to agricultural use and maintain state soil and water conservation standards. In return, they may be eligible to claim the Farmland Preservation Tax Credit.
To learn more about the Town of Troy AEA, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/DesignatedAEAs.aspx.
About AEAs and Farmland Preservation
If you are a landowner in St. Croix County and want to find out if your farmland is located in the Town of Troy AEA, to sign a farmland preservation agreement, or to learn more about conservation initiatives or resources in the county, contact either of the following at the St. Croix County Land Conservation Division:
- Max Erickson: (715) 531-1930 or email [email protected]
- Tim Stieber: (715) 531-1905 or email [email protected]
To learn more about the Town of Troy, visit https://townoftroy.org/.
To learn more about AEAs and the Farmland Preservation Program, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/AgriculturalEnterpriseAreas.aspx. To start or join a current AEA, contact your county land conservation department.