MADISON — Nine local food projects have been selected to receive grants through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) program, a competitive grant program designed to strengthen Wisconsin’s food industries by reducing marketing, distribution, and processing hurdles that impede the access of Wisconsin food products to local purchasers.
Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the BLBW grants help provide consumers access to even more Wisconsin-grown food products, including locally grown herbs for chefs and retailers, organic vegetables, maple syrup, red-wine vinegar, and locally produced beer.
“Our agency is pleased to provide support for these innovative local food projects,” said Kietra Olson, BLBW program manager. “The grants are intended to support the diverse sectors of Wisconsin agriculture, and outcomes generated by the grant recipients provide benefits to local communities and serve as models for others in the local food industry.”
DATCP received 31 funding requests totaling about $1.1 million. Ultimately, nine projects totaling $200,000 were selected to receive FY2019 grants.
The 2019 grantees are:
- Lovefood (Madison) – Create resilient environment to extend season for growing organic herbs for chefs and retailers, thereby reducing amount of herbs imported from out of state.
- Driftless Brewery (Soldiers Grove) – Develop marketing and distribution effort for newly expanded brewery and taproom.
- Enos Farm (Spring Green) – Farm-to-freezer project involves purchasing locally grown organic vegetables in bulk and preserving them for future purchase by restaurants and food establishments.
- Mushroom Mike (Milwaukee) – Increase sales of locally grown cultivated mushrooms, unique produce and foraged products through business expansion and production capabilities.
- Anderson’s Maple Syrup (Cumberland) – Market expansion project seeks to increase consumption of Wisconsin organic pure maple syrup by promoting a new innovative single-serve package.
- JRs Country Acres (Lake Mills) – Expand sales through marketing and placement of locally produced eggs in stores.
- Barham Gardens (Blanchardville) – Promote and highlight aronia product, distribution, sales and the aronia industry.
- Ugly Apple, LLC (Madison) – Buy seconds and overstock produce from Wisconsin farmers and process it into dehydrated “fruit leather.”
- Campo di Bella (Mount Horeb) – Increase value-added sales through the on-farm production, processing and sales/distribution of red wine vinegar.Since its inception in 2008, the program has funded more than 60 projects, totaling $1.625 million. Previous grant recipients have generated more than $10 million in new local food sales, created and retained more than 220 jobs, and benefitted more than 2,800 producers and nearly 3,000 markets. Due to the significant impact and growing interest in the program, Governor Evers’ budget proposes an additional $100,000 per year for Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin. Learn more about the program here.
— WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
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