Workshops to Focus on Farm, Food Entrepreneur Grants

For release: July 27, 2018

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Media Contacts: Rick Hummell, 608-224-5041
or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020                                              

MADISON – Do you have a production idea you want to test out on your farm? Are you looking for ways to develop your innovative agricultural business?

Many Wisconsin farmers and food entrepreneurs have used grants to evaluate new crops or farming practices or to launch value-added businesses. Individuals interested in learning more about possible grant opportunities or other financial options are invited to attend informational workshops scheduled around the state this fall.

Specific grant programs to be covered include:

  • USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant program, which funds research and education projects that advance sustainable agriculture;
  • USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program, a program administered locally by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) which funds endeavors that enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin specialty crops;
  • Wisconsin's Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program, a DATCP program which funds projects that increase the demand for and supply of locally produced foods in Wisconsin; and
  • DATCP's Farmer-led Watershed Grants Program, which provides grants that go to projects that focus on ways to prevent and reduce runoff from farm fields and work to increase farm participation in these voluntary efforts.

    In addition, the workshop will briefly cover USDA financial assistance and loan programs for farmers. 

    Wisconsin farmers have used grants to develop value-added enterprises, try out innovative production and marketing techniques, and educate other farmers and the public about sustainable agriculture. But figuring out whether a grant program is right for you and working through the application can be intimidating. This workshop will discuss when grants make sense and cover ways to plan your project and strengthen your application. 

    Dates and locations: 

    Friday, Sept. 21 in La Crosse (western Wisconsin)
    To register, contact: or 608-785-9593 by Sept. 14.

    Saturday, Sept. 22 in Dodgeville (southern Wisconsin)
    To register contact: Barry Hottmann or Gene Schriefer at or or 608-930-9850 by Sept. 14.  

    Friday, Sept. 28 in Green Bay (eastern Wisconsin)
    To register contact:  Liz Binversie at or 920-391-4612 by Sept. 20.

    Thursday, Oct. 11 in Medford (north-central Wisconsin)
    To register contact: Cathy Mauer at or 715-748-3327 ext. 3 by Oct. 4.

    The registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. The workshops are sponsored by UW-Extension, USDA, DATCP, and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. 

    For more information about the workshops contact:
    Diane Mayerfeld, UW-Extension  or  (608) 262-8188 or
    Erin Peot, UW-Extension or  (608)890-4606.