La Crosse County has launched a public survey on the future of farmland in the county.
The survey is part of the county’s Envision 2050 Comprehensive Plan. Input from the questionnaire will help guide the farmland preservation section of the document. To participate, visit publicinput.com/envision2050. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
“It doesn’t matter where you live in La Crosse County, your input on the future of our farmland matters,” said La Crosse County Planner Charlie Handy. “Agriculture brings food to our table, protects the landscape that brings tourists to our county, and has a critical role to play in creating a sustainable future for all of us.”
Over 40% of La Crosse County is covered by agriculture and other open land. But without policies to protect it, farmland is likely to face growing threats from expanding urban areas. Small family farms have also been facing pressure from market forces, which has led to a reduction in the overall number of farms in the county.
Handy said the county’s comprehensive plan, with input from the public, can create a framework to balance the need for increased development against the goal of preserving farmland, and in particular smaller family farms. He noted that agriculture remains a vital part of the local economy, with an estimated annual economic impact of $435 million, and room to grow.
Land use policy, which can help to preserve farmland, is the most important part of the county’s comprehensive plan. Learn more about the planning process at lacrossecounty.org/comprehensiveplan.