Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Rod Nilsestuen is asking for grant pre-proposals to increase local food sales and grow the state's economy.
The state's second round of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program will award $222,700 total this year; the maximum grant amount is $50,000.
"We're looking for projects that will help increase Wisconsin producers' share of the dollars spent on food in the state," said Secretary Nilsestuen.
Individuals, groups, businesses and organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture, agri-tourism, retail food establishments or food processing, distribution or warehousing are eligible to apply. Projects need to show how they will stimulate Wisconsin's agricultural economy by increasing the purchase of Wisconsin grown or produced food. Pre-proposals must be received by DATCP's Division of Agricultural Development by Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.
"Our goal is to have Wisconsin be the gold standard in local food innovation, engagement and success," Secretary Nilsestuen said.
"We welcome a wide variety of projects," said Teresa Cuperus, Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant program coordinator.
Projects might range from increasing the processing capacity of smaller processors to developing a local food distribution company to creating an agricultural tourism region to collaborating with other producers on a marketing effort.
The Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Program was created in Gov. Jim Doyle's 07-09 biennial budget. In the first year of the program, grant recipients saw a $2 increase in sales for every dollar invested. In order to continue investments in local food options, Gov Doyle's 09-11 biennial budget continues this important program.
The 2009 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program pre-proposal template and grant manual is available online at www.datcp.state.wi.us, search "buy local", or email inquiries to datcpBLBW@wi.gov, or call Teresa Cuperus 608-224-5101.