The demand for local foods continues to grow in Wisconsin.
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is again offering Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants to strengthen Wisconsin's agricultural and food industries.
"Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin is a popular economic development program that has seen great results, reducing marketing, distribution and processing hurdles facing the state's local food system," said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel.
Brancel added, "I am pleased to announce the availability of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant materials."
The competitive grant was launched in 2008. Since its inception, there have been over $4 million in new local food sales and over $640,000 in new investments.
About 100 jobs have been created or retained as a result of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant projects and more than 1,900 producers have benefited.
Proposals will be accepted from individuals, groups, businesses and organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments or agricultural tourism sites.
Proposals could include collaborations or partnerships.
"Invested citizens and the state legislature have been dedicated to the continuation of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program," added Brancel. "I look forward to receiving quality proposals that will make an impact on Wisconsin."
Pre-proposals must be received at DATCP by 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 21. Pre-proposals include a cover page, budget template and three-page project description.
After an internal review of pre-proposals, qualified projects will be invited to complete a full proposal application and participate in an interview. The announcement of selected projects will be made in early 2014.
There is $200,000 of grant funds available. The maximum grant award is $50,000 per project. Grant applicants must provide cash or in-kind match equivalent to or greater than 50 percent of the total project cost.
Eligible expenses for the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant-funded projects include operating expenses, real estate and equipment.
The complete grant manual, cover sheet and budget outline is available online at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants.
For more information, contact DATCP's Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program manager, Teresa Engel, at 608-224-5101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.