Farmers and businesses involved in Wisconsin’s food industry who are seeking to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply for 2019 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin producer and processor grants.
Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and business more efficiently produce, process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools and institutions.
“These grants fund innovative ideas that help producers and other local food businesses become more successful at selling their local products around Wisconsin,” said BLBW program manager Kietra Olson. “We encourage growers and processors with projects that help expand Wisconsin’s food system to apply for the grants. Projects must clearly demonstrate a need, show creativity, and help grow the food industry.”
Proposals must be received by DATCP by noon, March 20. Each proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and project description. Necessary documents are available online at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/BuyLocalBuyWisconsinGrants.aspx. Grants will be awarded following a competitive review process. The target date for grant award notification is April 2019.
A total of $170,000 is available in grant funding; the maximum award for each project is $50,000. Grant applicants must provide a cash or in-kind match of at least 50 percent of the total project budget. Grants may not be used to fund feasibility projects or startups.
Qualified applicants include individuals, groups or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments or agricultural tourism operations. Proposals could include collaborations or partnerships.
Since its inception in 2008, the program has funded 58 projects, totaling more than $1.6 million. Previous grant recipients have generated nearly $10 million in new local food sales, created and retained 211 jobs, and benefitted more than 2,700 producers and 2,900 markets.
Anyone with questions about the application process can contact Olson at 608-224-5112 or Kietra.Olson@Wisconsin.gov.