MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for 2023 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) grants through March 31, 2023. DATCP will award a total of up to $200,000 in BLBW grant funding in 2023.
BLBW is a competitive grant program designed to strengthen Wisconsin’s agriculture and food industries by helping farms and businesses more efficiently process, market, and distribute locally grown food products. BLBW grants provide consumers with access to more Wisconsin-grown food products, including organic vegetables, hops varieties, hazelnut products, locally grown grain, and other value-added products.
Qualified applicants include individuals, groups, or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments, or agricultural tourism operations. Projects will be required to report on increased local food sales, created and retained jobs, and new investments.
Projects can receive grant funds for up to three years in duration. Grant requests must be between $5,000 and $50,000. Eligible project expenses include compensation for personnel, consultant services, materials, and supplies. Projects must show a one-to-one match of cash or in-kind support accounting for at least 50% of the total project budget.
DATCP will use a competitive review process to select the most qualified projects. Selected project contracts and work may begin in June 2023. Grant information and application materials are available at the DATCP website.
Since its inception in 2008, more than 540 applications have been submitted for BLBW grants, requesting a total of more than $19 million in funding. Of those applications, 102 projects have been funded, totaling more than $2.6 million. Previous grant recipients have generated more than $13.76 million in new local food sales, created and retained nearly 400 jobs, and benefited more than 4,900 producers and 4,055 markets.
An informational webinar will be held via Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to discuss creating a proposal and how past applicants were successful. Time will be allotted for questions. Participants can register for the webinar in advance.
For more information, contact DATCP Grants Specialist Ryan Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 590-7239.