Eight organizations receive $1.1 million in DATCP grants

Grace Connatser
Wisconsin State Farmer
DATCP logo

Eight organizations have received 19 specialty crop block grants totaling $1.1 million from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The grants are intended to fund initiatives that enhance the competitiveness of certain specialty markets through research, education and other developments. The money for the grants is issued by the US Department of Agriculture through DATCP.

The University of Wisconsin campuses in Madison, River Falls and Whitewater received grants, 12 of them alone going to the Madison campus. The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, FairShare CSA Coalition, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin and Savanna Institute all received one grant each. Every group is required to match their grant at 25%.

FairShare CSA Coalition is a non-profit based in Madison that works to connect consumers with farmers and support the community-supported agriculture model, which entails consumers buying plots of land from farmers in order to have direct access to food.

The Savanna Institute, also based in Madison, works to return the Midwest to its savanna environmental origins by laying the groundwork for agroforestry adoption that fosters integrated perennial ecosystems.

"These grants benefit Wisconsin’s specialty crop industries in a variety of ways, from pest and pathogen mitigation to innovation, education, and marketing efforts. We are pleased to help support a range of diverse specialty crop initiatives once again," said DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski.

Here's a list of all grants, according to a DATCP press release:

  • UW-Madison: $99,964 to investigate the effects of deicing salts on prairie plants planted along highways, and using woody plants and prairie grasses as living snow fences
  • UW-Madison: $99,684 to develop aphid flight phenology models to limit the spread of Potato virus Y, a nonpersistently transmitted viral pathogen of seed potatoes
  • UW-Madison: $99,118 to develop a better understanding of how honey bee hive health and success vary across Wisconsin due to variations in land cover and weather conditions
  • UW-Madison: $97,174 to conduct vegetable variety trials in field and high tunnel greenhouses to improve vegetable production, profitability, and quality in northern Wisconsin
  • UW-Madison: $96,448 to mitigate threats posed by emerging black leg and soft rot pathogens to seed potatoes
  • Ginseng Board of Wisconsin: $96,448 to test fungicides and biorationals to determine if the destructive Phytophthora rot pathogen in ginseng has developed resistance to the newer fluopicolide fungicide
  • UW-Madison: $75,000 to assess the use of mass trapping as an environmentally-friendly and sustainable option for managing wasps in Wisconsin vineyards
  • UW-Madison: $69,182 to investigate new genetic and chemical control options for Cercospora Leaf Spot disease of table beet in conventional and organic production
  • UW-Madison: $63,819 to perform a storage study and conduct on-farm surveys to explore the use of thermal imaging to manage potato post-harvest storage and provide strategies to maintain storage quality
  • WSCGA: $60,000 to increase public awareness and favorability of the cranberry industry by creating display materials and engaging, educational content to share on multiple platforms
  • UW-Madison: $50,000 to conduct research on the biology, risk, and management of viruses affecting iris production and disseminate information to growers through outreach events and materials
  • Savanna Institute: $50,000 to stimulate market demand, supply chain development, and on-farm production of black currants by educating growers and the public via field days, taste evaluations, recipe and product development, and online and print resources.
  • FairShare CSA Coalition: $44,050 to work with farmers and partners to address labor management needs of diversified organic vegetable growers with a training program designed to help farmers attract workers, manage labor effectively, strengthen financial viability, and improve quality of life
  • UW-Madison: $40,382 to increase sales of apples to institutions (K-12 schools, hospitals, early care centers, and colleges) by leveraging the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch to provide direct training, technical assistance, and outreach materials
  • WAGA: $37,989 to increase the demand for and sales of Wisconsin apples through a targeted “Flavored by Wisconsin” campaign promotes the state’s apple heritage and diversity while building on the reputation of the apple for quality and versatility
  • UW-River Falls: $28,255to fund a one-year extension request to compare the effectiveness of lithium chloride salt treatment to control a devastating parasitic mite of honey bees and vector of honey bee viruses
  • UW-Madison: $25,000 to increase the amount and variety of Wisconsin-grown fruits and vegetables provided in schools by developing a statewide Farm to School Harvest of the Month program featuring 24 Wisconsin specialty crops
  • UW-Madison: $24,871 to bring together beginning farmers, including women, to provide training in growing and marketing elderberry and coordinate discussions on developing an elderberry growing hub/cooperative
  • UW-Whitewater: $23,711 to investigate the wild bergamot plant as a specialty crop by conducting a market and feasibility study and creating a business and operating plan with the Oneida Nation