Farmland Preservation Program Information

In 2013, Marathon County adopted the Farmland Preservation Plan to help guide farmland preservation and resource conservation activities for the next 15 years.  The primary purpose of the program is to minimize the conversion of farmland to other uses and to protect soil and water resources from the impacts of agricultural runoff.  Marathon County has goal to minimize conversion to less than 1500 acres annually.

There are two program strategies that Marathon County will utilize to preserve farmland use:

1. Farmland Preservation ZoningBales of Hay and Corn Row Pictures
2. Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEAs):

a. Heart of America’s Dairyland
b. Antigo Flats

A diverse agriculture is critical to the well-being of our rural communities and our local economy.  The production and processing of agricultural products such as meat, milk, cheese, honey, maple syrup, Christmas trees, and timber are critical to our rural communities and regional economy.
Whether you are a town official looking to participate in an Agricultural Enterprise Area or farmland preservation zoning, a farmer looking to benefit from the conservation and tax incentive benefits, or a citizen trying to understand the importance of agriculture, Marathon County hopes the website will provide you helpful information.

FPP Newsletters


History of farmland preservation in Marathon County: The Farmland Preservation Case Study discusses the land use, taxation, conservation and economic policy initiatives of the initial Farmland Preservation Plan developed in 1982. The study describes the participation activity and financial benefits of landowners through over 29 years of program implementation. Finally, the study discusses the challenges and effectiveness of the program.


The ERC is a policy committee for the County Board that addresses land use and environmental programming. The ERC has developed several educational and informational presentations to understand the demographics and land use trends in Marathon County for the purpose of developing targeted policy initiatives.