Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grants Awarded for 15 Projects

​​FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2023
Contact: Neal Patten, Public Information Officer, (608) 440-0294, neal.patten@wisconsin.gov 

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MADISON, Wis. – ​The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced 15 projects have been selected to receive more than $1.12 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant funding. 

Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education, or market development. Recipients are required to provide 25 percent of the grant funds as a matching contribution.

“Agriculture has a $104.8 billion impact on Wisconsin’s economy, and the state is a leader in many specialty crops,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “We appreciate the continued partnership of the USDA as these grants will support and enhance a range of specialty crop initiatives including projects with maple syrup, hops, and apples.”

The funded projects are:

Driftless Development: Develop and implement a promotional campaign that leads to increased knowledge, consumption, and sales of apples grown in Gays Mills.

Fruitz 2 Art Culinary Corp: Provide unique mobile access to fruit and vegetable education through a healthy and mindful creative experience.

Ginseng Board of Wisconsin: Prevent premature defoliation in Wisconsin ginseng to preserve yields.

Good Thunder Farm: Help beginning elderberry farmers in southwest Wisconsin access local markets and increase consumer education on elderberries and value-added products.

Hundred Acre: Increase production, awareness, and demand of year-round, locally-grown leafy greens in Milwaukee.

Miles Acres LLC: Expand hop production and processing operations affecting eastern Wisconsin and neighboring counties.

REAP Food Group: Support selection and breeding of collard greens varieties for urban and peri-urban production in the upper Midwest.

REAP Food Group: Support specialty crop farmers via the Farm Fresh Atlas statewide expansion.

Spraycision: Implement an advanced level crop detection and sensor system to reduce chemicals and water usage in spray applications of specialty crops.

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System: Support honeyberry production in Wisconsin.

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System: Reduce groundwater contamination risks with in-season cover crop interseedings in potatoes and sweet corn.

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System: Implement attract-and-kill or kill alone tactics to manage Japanese beetles in vineyards.

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System: Determine how local and landscape conditions affect the pollen quality of honeybees.

WI Agricultural Tourism Association: Support Growing Wisconsin, galvanizing Wisconsin as America's agritourism destination.

YMCA of the North: Educate 4,000 youth and adult participants about the unique industry of maple syrup production, with the purpose of sustaining occupations and consumerism.

Funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program is provided by the USDA, which defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. For more information, visit datcp.wi.gov/Pages/AgDevelopment/SpecialtyCropBlockGrants.aspx​


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