Grants & Financial Options For Farmers & Food Entrepreneurs

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Workshop Offered by UW-Extension

By Jeanne Ward

Are you looking for ways to develop your innovative agricultural business? Join us for a workshop designed to help you identify whether grants or other financial options might be right for you.

Wisconsin farmers have used grants to develop value-added enterprises, try out innovative production and marketing techniques, and educate other farmers and the public about sustainable agriculture. But figuring out whether a grant program is right for you and working through the application can be intimidating. This workshop will discuss when grants make sense and cover ways to plan your project and strengthen your application.

Specific grant programs to be covered include:

  • USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, which provides planning and working capital funds to farmers and farmer-based enterprises to develop and implement value-added ventures
  • USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant program, which funds research, and education projects that advance sustainable agriculture
  • USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program, which funds endeavors that enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin Specialty Crops
  • Wisconsin’s Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) grant program, which funds projects that increase the demand for and supply of locally produced foods in Wisconsin.

In addition, the workshop will briefly cover USDA cost-share and loan programs for farmers.

Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, September 14th – Northwestern WI Barron Electric Coop, 1434 State Hwy. 25 N., Barron, WI To register contact: Tim Jergenson at tim.jergenson@ces.uwex.edu or (715) 537-6250
  • Wednesday, October 5th – Western WI Pippin Center, Melville Hall, UW-Richland Center, 1200 US-14, Richland Center, WI To register contact: Adam Hady at adam.hady@ces.uwex.edu or (608) 647-6148
  • Thursday, October 6th – Southeastern WI Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, W2493 County Road ES, East Troy, WI To register contact: Leigh Presley at leigh.presley@ces.uwex.edu or (262) 857-1948 or (262) 767-2905
  • Tuesday, October 11th – Eastern WI Crystal Falls Banquet Hall, 1500 Handschke Drive, New London, WI To register contact: Greg Blonde at greg.blonde@ces.uwex.edu or (715) 258-6231

The registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. The workshops are sponsored by UW-Extension, USDA, DATCP, and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.

For more information contact: Diane Mayerfeld, UW-Extension dbmayerfeld@wisc.edu or (608) 262-8188

Photo credit: Douglas County UW-Extension




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