Dane County Executive Falk Announces Preservation of 369-Acre Dairy Farm Along Highway 12 Corridor
January 24, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced a proposal to purchase an agricultural easement for 369 acres of farmland in the towns of Springfield and Dane along the Highway 12 corridor.
“This is a beautiful, large, active dairy farm that we are happy to see remain farmland forever,” said Falk.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to participate in this program to ensure this property will maintain its agricultural use as well as its rural beauty for generations to come,” said Allan and Vicki Ballweg, owners of the farm.
This is the largest single purchase to date under the Highway 12 agreement and fund and will cost approximately $1,745,000 in state dollars. The land is an active dairy farm with 220 cows, two farmsteads and hills that feature scenic views about 15 miles from the Capitol building in Madison. The agricultural easement is being purchased from Vicky and Allen Ballweg, who will continue to farm on the property. The easement ensures that the land will be used for farming and not developed for residential or commercial use. The Ballweg’s are the fourth generation in their family to farm on the land, in fact, Allan Ballweg’s maternal and paternal great-grandparents owned the two farmsteads, and originally lived as neighbors. Eventually, the families were joined by marriage, and Allan was able to purchase both farmsteads to keep the land in the family.
This purchase is the fifth purchase of easement to protect farmland and natural resources.
The program is voluntary and fully funded by the $5 million that Falk negotiated with then-Governor Tommy Thompson for use to protect farms and natural resources in the Highway 12 corridor. The county also works in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides financial and technical assistance to help keep farms in private agricultural use. Through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, NRCS has committed $1.98 million in financial assistance to the Dane County Agricultural Easement program since 2004.
A resolution authorizing the purchase was introduced to the County Board on Thursday January 5.