Producers selling local foods can now qualify for up to $3,000 for one-on-one technical assistance. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection also encourages schools, distributors, aggregators and food hubs purchasing local foods to utilize this technical assistance.
"This one-on-one technical assistance is part of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Program," explained DATCP Program Manager Teresa Engel. "The individualized technical assistance provided will result in an increase of sales and purchases of local foods in the state."
Producers may use the one-on-one technical assistance for a variety of needs including but not limited to: accounting, business planning, food safety, legal services, software training, marketing or packaging. The assistance could also be used to enter new markets or better understand the logistics of farm to school.
Examples of how the one-on-one technical assistance could assist schools are in developing local food recipes, processing skills or menus. Schools may also use the funds for food safety planning, legal services or software training.
Distributors, aggregators and food hubs may use the funds to understand the school bidding process, design traceability for local food products, plan for local food procurement, establish a food safety plan, develop software, use legal services and more.
The applicant must identify a consultant with the needed experience and expertise to provide the one-on-one assistance. A consultants' database is available to reference if needed.
Any Wisconsin producer, school, distributor, aggregator or food hub is eligible to apply. Applicants with experience in farm to school procurement activities will receive higher consideration.
Applicants should visit datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/Technical_Assistance to complete a brief web questionnaire. If the questionnaire is accepted, full application materials will be provided. Questionnaires may be submitted by Feb. 15.
To learn more, contact DATCP's Teresa Engel at email@example.com or 608-224-5101.