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MADISON—Nine local food projects have been selected to receive grants through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) program, a competitive grant program designed to strengthen Wisconsin’s food industries by helping farms and businesses more efficiently process, market and distribute locally grown food products.
Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the 2020 BLBW grants will provide consumers access to even more Wisconsin-grown food products, including organic vegetables, hops varieties, hazelnut products, and locally grown grain, and other value-added products.
“The 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 local food industry,” said Kara Kasten-Olson, the programs supervisor.
One of the nine grantees is the Menomonie Market Food Coop in Menomonie and the funds will facilitate purchased of equipment, and increase capacity to process, preserve and store food, allowing the co-op to purchase unsold produce and consigned crops grown by local producers and expand its offering of deli and frozen grocery items.
The DATCP received 33 funding requests totaling about $1.16 million. Nine of those requests were selected for the $300,000 in grant funding for the FY 2020 grants.
Other communities that received grant money were: Ashland, Athens, Ridgeway, Sun Prairie, Stevens Point, St. Cloud and Waterloo.