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Grants offered to local food growers

MADISON-The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds local food producers to apply for grants available to them through the state's Producers First funding.

The program allows local food producers to work with a consultant of their choosing to receive one-on-one technical assistance. Producers First pays up to $3,000 to the consultant and requires the producer to offer a matching payment of 10%.

Examples of technical assistance provided by Producers First include: Accounting, financial organization, business planning, packaging and label development, food safety, grant writing assistance, legal services, market development and whole farm planning.

To apply for a grant, local food producers need to first complete a brief web questionnaire. If the questionnaire meets the eligibility requirements, producers will be invited to submit a full three-page application.

Producers First web questionnaires are accepted all times, but the next deadline to submit full applications for review is March 31. Producers are encouraged to complete the web questionnaire about a month before the deadline to ensure time to complete the process.

Producers First is part of DATCP's Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program. The goal of Producers First is to expand Wisconsin's local food markets by helping producers meet their goals to increase sales, become more profitable and create jobs.

To fill out the web questionnaire or learn more about the program visit online at People can also contact DATCP at or 608-306-0844.