MADISON – Since its
inception in 2008, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program has generated $6
million in new local food sales. Farmers and others in Wisconsin’s food
industry who want to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply in the
2015 round of grants. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade
and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and business more
efficiently process, market and distribute food in local markets including
stores, schools and institutions.
“Just as a wide variety of foods makes for a healthy diet, a
variety of farms and agribusinesses makes for a healthy economy,” said BLBW
program manager Teresa Engel. “We encourage growers, processors and
distributors of diverse products to apply, and we look forward to funding some
Pre-proposals must be received at DATCP by 4 p.m. Dec. 1. Each
pre-proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and
three-page project description. The necessary documents can be found online at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants.
Qualified projects selected during the pre-proposal round will
be invited to complete a full proposal. The recipients will be announced in March
A total of $200,000 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.
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 2008, DATCP has awarded 29 BLBW grants for a total of
$825,400. The program has resulted in 124 jobs retained or created and has
benefited 2,062 producers. To learn more about the program or its economic
impacts, visit http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants.
If you have questions about the application process, contact
DATCP’s Grants Manager Juli Speck at 608-224-5134 or Juli.Speck@Wisconsin.gov.