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Madison — Thanks to a familiar red trademark, more than 20 Wisconsin companies will be prominently on display in the Something Special from Wisconsin area at this year’s Feast! Local Foods Marketplace at the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, Minnesota.

This featured space is one of the many benefits of being a Something Special from Wisconsin member.

“Consumers continue to demand locally grown and processed foods. Food industry professionals are looking for those products at this trade show, and 20-plus companies are using their Something Special from Wisconsin membership to stand out from the crowd,” said Lois Federman, who manages the program for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.

The Feast! Local Foods Marketplace takes place Dec. 2 for an industry-only tradeshow and Dec. 3 for a public festival. The two-day event includes a large exhibit hall, educational seminars, demonstrations, kids activities and a film fest. Attendees include buyers for grocery stores, distributors, restaurants, schools, hospitals, corporate cafeterias and the general public.

The award-winning event is organized by the FEAST Local Food Network, a partnership of organizations that is headed up by Renewing the Countryside and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

“I'm thrilled to see the growth in the number of exhibitors coming in from Wisconsin, and I'm excited about the many new vendors -- over half are coming for the first time,” said Eli Goodwell, associate director for RTC. Learn more at local-feast.org.

Federman added, “As the director of the Something Special from Wisconsin program, Feast! Is the exact opportunity I've been searching for to help my members enter into a new market outside of Wisconsin. The event provides us the ideal combination of educational workshops and opportunities to network with the foodservice industry and consumers.”

Something Special from Wisconsin is a trademarked logo that guarantees that at least half of a product’s ingredients, production or processing happens in Wisconsin, which fits with Feast’s criteria for selecting exhibitors for the event. Businesses must apply and be accepted to attend based on their market-readiness and use of local/regional food ingredients.

Exhibitors will offer samples and sell product at Feast! This year you’ll find the following member companies in the Something Special from Wisconsin pavilion: B&E’s Trees, CTL Foods; Mandy’s Mood Foods; Sconnie Foods; Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Coop; Dashelito’s; Ney’s Big Sky; CJ’s Premium Spices; Becky’s Blissful Bakery, High Home Foods – Smokin’ Ts; Mad Dog and Merrill; Hixton Blue-Collar Café; Century Sun Oil; Chip Magnet Salsa; Silver Creek Specialty Meats; Fizzeology Foods; Croix Valley Foods; and Pleasant’s Best Sauces. Additional members exhibiting outside the program area are Fifth Season Cooperative, FillMyRecipe and Honestly Cranberry.

To learn more about the Something Special from Wisconsin program or to become a member, visit somethingspecialwi.com, contact Federman at datcpssfw@wi.gov or call 608-224-5124.

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