The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced 10 Wisconsin companies will receive a DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) grant in 2023.
BLBW is a competitive grant program designed to strengthen Wisconsin's agriculture and food industries by helping farms and businesses more efficiently process, market, and distribute locally grown food products. BLBW grants provide consumers with access to more Wisconsin-grown food products, including organic fruits and vegetables, hazelnut products, locally grown grain, and other value-added products.
"These grants play an important role in strengthening the tie between Wisconsin’s food producers and consumers, thus ensuring more Wisconsinites can gain access to local foods,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “The awarded companies will have the opportunity to use these funds to expand their operations and improve the local food marketplace across the state.”
DATCP received 24 funding requests totaling more than $784,000. The grant recipients and their planned projects, totaling $200,000, are:
Park Ridge Organics, Fond du Lac
Improve product branding, enhance farm store customer shopping experience, and launch new wholesale prepackaged product options.
Expand agritourism efforts and increase marketing to support a new on-farm retail store.
Sullivan Family Farm, Manitowoc
Increase production with season extension infrastructure and expand into new wholesale markets.
Rock Ridge Orchard, Edgar
Improve apple cold storage capacity to expand Farm to School sales.
Artisan Grain Collaborative, Madison
Increase awareness and use of Wisconsin-grown and processed grain products.
Produce, promote, and distribute kombucha mocktails and mixers.
Ourganic Farms, Watertown
Expand development of sauerkraut and other fermented products.
American Hazelnut Company, Gays Mills
Enhance processing, update product labels to improve brand integrity and recognition, and diversify product lines.
Graves Family Orchard, Brownsville
Develop systems to more efficiently prepare, harvest, and sell fruit.
Bayfield Regional Food Producers Cooperative, Washburn
Expand the Bayfield Foods CSA and launch the Bayfield Foods Buying Club.
Since its inception in 2008, 571 applications have been submitted for Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants, requesting a total of more than $19.8 million in funding. Of those applications, 112 projects have been funded, totaling more than $2.8 million. Previous grant recipients have generated more than $13.89 million in new local food sales, created and retained more than 406 jobs, and benefited more than 4,800 producers and 4,972 markets.
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