Fourteen local food projects across Wisconsin have been selected to receive grants through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) program. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), 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 vegetables, hops varieties, hazelnut products, locally grown grain, and other value-added products.
“DATCP is pleased to provide support for these innovative local food projects,” said Kara Kasten-Olson, DATCP Agriculture Programs Supervisor. “These grants are intended to support the diverse sectors of Wisconsin agriculture, and outcomes generated by the grant recipients provide benefits to local communities and serve as models for others in the food industry.” DATCP received 37 funding requests totaling more than $1.3 million. Fourteen projects totaling $300,000 were selected to receive FY2021 grants. The grant recipients and their planned projects are:
45 Mercantile – Antigo Increasing processing and sales capacity and creating branding, website, signage, and photography for featured products and e-commerce.
B&E’s Trees – Viroqua Increasing sales and service opportunities, purchasing in-store displays and marketing materials, and renting a shared kitchen.
Cylon Rolling Acres – Deer Park Assistance with recipe development, digital marketing, label development, and electrical work and purchasing necessary supplies and materials.
Driftless Pure – La Crosse Increasing sales opportunities.
Emerald Acres – Sturgeon Bay Assistance with the installation of a walk-in cooler, travel for equipment and supplies, and purchasing necessary supplies and materials including cooler hardware parts, a cooler compressor, flame weeder, and wash station equipment.
Farmers Best Home Delivery – Appleton Assistance with project management, purchasing necessary supplies and materials, and creating social media, TV, and radio advertisements.
Forest Co. Potawatomi Comm. – Crandon Increasing farm-related opportunities and purchasing necessary supplies and materials.
Fresh Project – Shawano Assistance with graphic design work, purchasing necessary supplies, brochures, and materials, and renting a mobile market cargo van and office space.
Goodland Extracts – Milwaukee Assistance with processing equipment installation and purchasing steel wall panels, commercial floor tiling, and isolate processing reactor.
REAP Food Group – Madison Marketing platform research, technical assistance, development and implementation, buyer and producer support, Food Finance Institute analysis, development of legal guidelines, website development and hosting fees, and graphic design and branding work.
Riemer Family Farm – Brodhead Development of targeted social media and email campaigns and purchasing supplies and materials for processing, packaging, and labeling.
Vesperman Farms – Lancaster Assistance with branding, logos, package design, advertising, marketing, and video/audio work and purchasing brochures, direct mailers, and sales sheets.
Voss Organics – Madison Purchasing display racks and signage and creating social media campaigns and an online video learning system.
Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Association – Strum Assistance with website and social media development and creating a professional association logo, quarterly press releases, and newsletters.
Since its inception in 2008, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program has funded 76 projects, totaling $1.925 million. Previous grant recipients have generated more than $10 million in new local food sales, created and retained more than 233 jobs, and benefitted more than 2,800 producers and 2,900 markets.