This is offered with a big thanks to State Senator Luter Olsen, whose email letter to constituents is always informative!
AEAs are part of Wisconsin's farmland preservation program. They encourage agricultural land use preservation and promote agricultural economic development. They give farmers and agribusinesses confidence that their area will remain in agricultural use, so they have more certainty about investing in their businesses.
Landowners in AEAs are not subject to any new land use regulations. Farmers with land in an AEA can receive tax credits in exchange for agreeing to keep their land in agricultural use for at least 15 years."
For more information, check out the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Working Lands Initiative website.