Since 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 for 2015 grants.
The grants, which are managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 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 Teresa Engel, Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program manager. "We encourage growers, processors and distributors of diverse products to apply, and we look forward to funding some innovative ideas."
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% of the total project budget.
Each pre-proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and three-page project description. Pre-proposals must be received at DATCP by Dec. 1 at 4 p.m.
Qualified projects selected during the pre-proposal round will be invited to complete a full proposal. The recipients will be announced in March 2015.
The necessary documents can be found online
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, click here.
If you have questions about the application process, contact DATCP's Grants Manager Juli Speck at 608-224-5134 or Juli.Speck@Wisconsin.gov.