Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants Open

Farmers and others in Wisconsin’s food industry who want to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply for 2018 grants available through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program.

Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and business more efficiently process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools and institutions. Since its inception in 2008, the BLBW program has generated nearly $10 million in new local food sales.

“Just as a wide variety of foods makes for a healthy diet, a variety of farms and agribusinesses makes for a healthy economy,” said BLBW program manager Kietra Olson. “We encourage growers, processors and distributors of diverse products to apply, and we look forward to funding some innovative ideas.”

Proposals must be received at DATCP by noon, Sept. 14, 2018. Each proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and project description. The necessary documents can be found online. Recipients will be announced in December, 2018.

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 percent of the total project budget.

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 its inception in 2008, the program has funded 58 projects, totaling more than $1.6 million. Previous grant recipients have generated nearly $10 million in new local food sales, created and retained 211 jobs, and benefitted more than 2,700 producers and 2,900 markets.

If you have questions about the application process, contact DATCP’s Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program manager Kietra Olson at 608-224-5112 or Kietra.Olson@Wisconsin.gov.