DATCP: Nilsestuen appoints members to new PACE Council

Contact: Jane Larson (608) 224-5005

MADISON-Members of a new council that will advise the state agriculture department on the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, part of the efforts to protect Wisconsin farmland, were announced today.

Secretary Rod Nilsestuen today announced his nominations for twelve members of the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) Council. State law requires a council to be formed to advise the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on administration of the PACE component of the Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative.

“Council members were selected to capture the diversity of Wisconsin’s agriculture or to represent persons who may be affected or involved with the purchase of conservation easements on working farmland,” Nilsestuen said.

The purchase of agricultural conservation easements allows local governments or non-profit conservation organizations to permanently protect farmland. By working with willing sellers, a conservation easement is placed on eligible land that ensures productive agricultural land remains available for future generations of farmers.

“Once farmland is placed into PACE, it will remain as farmland. These decisions will protect and enhance the economic impact of Wisconsin’s hard working farm families,” Nilsestuen said. “I am pleased that some counties are already putting together local PACE committees to identify farmland that should stay in agriculture.”

The Council will assist with program development, recommend guidance for funding distribution, and will provide a liaison role between the department, local government, land trusts, landowners, and other partners. The PACE Council will convene at its first meeting on October 5, 2009 in Madison.

The PACE Council consists of:

* Dan Poulson-Jefferson County; agricultural representative; cash grain farmer; former co-chairman of the Working Lands Steering Committee; former president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau; former member of Natural Resources Board.

* Kenn Buelow-Calumet County; agricultural representative; manager and owner of Holsum Dairies; Wisconsin Green Tier program participant; member of the Dairy Business Association; member of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin; board member of the Glacial Lakes Conservancy.

* Randy Craig-Waukesha County; agribusiness representative; cash grain farmer and raises Holstein replacement heifers; member of Badgerland Financial board of directors.

* Sue Carlson- Chippewa County; agriculture representative; president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union; vice president of the International Federation of Agricultural Producer Women’s Committee; served on Governor Doyle’s Bio-industries Consortium; former member of Working Lands Steering Committee.

* Keith Langenhahn-Marathon County; local government representative; Marathon County Board Chairman; Township of Marathon Chairman; Chairperson of National Association of Counties Rural Action Caucus; former chairperson of National Association of Counties Ag/Rural Affairs; Wisconsin Valley Fair director; Wisconsin Counties Association Secretary/Treasurer and former president; dairy farmer.

* Rick Stadelman-Shawano County; local government representative; executive director of Wisconsin Towns Association; former member of the Livestock Siting Advisory Committee, former member of the Working Lands Steering Committee.

* Mike Strigel-Dane County; statewide land trust representative; executive director of Gathering Waters Conservancy; former executive director of Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.

* Ellen Kwiatkowski-Bayfield County; local land trust representative; executive director of Bayfield Regional Conservancy; co-owner of Blue Vista farm which has been protected by a conservation easement.

* Brian Ohm-Dane County; planning and land use representative; University of Wisconsin professor and department chair of Urban and Regional Planning; affiliate of the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies; State Land Use Law Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension; Vice President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association.

* Mark Cupp-Grant County; environmental and conservation representative; chairman of the Land and Water Conservation Board; executive director of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board; president of Cultural Landscape Legacies, Inc; president of the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Foundation board of directors.

* Dennis Caneff-Dane County; environmental and conservation representative; executive director of the River Alliance of Wisconsin; secretary of the Land and Water Conservation Board; former member of Working Lands Steering Committee; former Upper Midwest director of the American Farmland Trust; former executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Development Center.

* Thomas Lyon-Jefferson County; at-large representative; retired CEO of Cooperative Resources International; former president of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents; past board member of American Farmland Trust; member of the Wisconsin Stewardship Task Force; served as co-chair of the Wisconsin Future of Farming and Rural life study.

For more information on the PACE Council, contact Lisa Schultz, (608) 224-4604.