CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)- Acre by acre, in the state's most known industry, Wisconsin continues to lose farm land to development.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin has lost nearly one million acres of farm land in the last 10 years.
“As farmers decide to get out of the industry, that's where we do see land diverted toward more residential, commercial, retail, and those kinds of things, do come into play,” Chippewa County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Jerry Clark said. “It’s usually land that’s easy to convert. Its level; it’s cleared; especially if they’re close to a metropolitan area or city such as Chippewa Falls or Eau Claire, those are the farms that typically start to feel the pressure.”
With resources in the Agriculture industry tightening, that’s why many people still think it’s important to provide hands on opportunities to learn about it
Those opportunities include events like Family Farm Day, hosted by the Blaeser’s of Chippewa Falls.
“It’s good to educate the inner city or people from the city that aren’t farmers or in industry, to educate them to be able to see what goes in and give them a better perspective of it,” Josh Blaeser said. “I think that's what it comes down to, a lot of farms being lost people don't understand what it takes and what’s going on in farming.”
That's why the Blaeser’s are trying to be self-sufficient and help teach their local community.
“With the influx of the population it’s guaranteed we're going to lose farmland because we have to have infrastructure,” Ashley Blaeser said. “However, as a nation we have to be able to feed the rest of the population of the entire world, so to be able to do that we have to figure out ways to supply.”
Sunday, the Blaeser’s had around 300 people out to their farm.
Clark adds that having the knowledge of the industry will help lead to better decisions when it comes to protecting farm land and deciding where to build.
“We don't want policy to have to drive this and have regulations,” Clark said. “We still need an economy whether its agriculture or something else, we need the land to be protected or at least used in the right way to make the most benefit of society and for community.”