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$450,000 grant funds to Grow Wisconsin Agriculture

by 5m Editor
27 July 2007, at 10:37am

US - Governor Jim Doyle announced the availability of $450,000 for 16 agricultural development projects ranging from renewable energy to specialty potatoes. The funding is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's 2007 Agricultural Development and Diversification grant program.

"In Wisconsin, agriculture is our heritage, identity, and future," Governor Doyle says. "I am pleased to help Wisconsin's farmers modernize and diversify their businesses - and keep Wisconsin America's leader in agriculture."

The ADD grant program was created in 1989 to stimulate Wisconsin's farm economy. Based on post-grant surveys, the program has generated more than $100 million in economic returns, including annual sales increases, annual cost reduction, and additional economic returns. Economic activity that has resulted from the success of grant projects includes:

  • More than 600 new jobs
  • More than $30 million in new capital investment
  • More than 400 new products developed
"Innovation and diversity are our strengths," says Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen. "These projects were selected for their demonstrated ability to add value to agricultural products, help farmers and create jobs. Congratulations to the recipients."

Recipients of the 2007 ADD include:

BIO-INDUSTRY
The Marquette University, Milwaukee, to enhance the production of methane gas in anaerobic digesters; ENCAP, LLC, Green Bay, to research technology that separates solids and nutrients from liquid manure and also determine if there is a market for products; Clean Water Solutions, LLC, to develop technology to clean up polluted waste water using modified soybean hulls, a low-cost by-product, to absorb heavy metals.

DAIRY INDUSTRY
Alta Genetics, Watertown, to improve dairy cattle genetics and bull fertility; Lovetree Farmstead Cheese, Grantsburg, to develop protocols for businesses who offer custom cheese aging for cheesemakers looking to add value to their products.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
The Horticulture Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to research the economical feasibly of large-scale organic vegetable crop production; Home Grown Wisconsin to implement food safety protocols for organically grown products including fresh fruits and vegetables; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, to test the methinonine content of corn hybrids for organic poultry producers.

NICHE MARKETS
The GreenLeaf Market to enable consumers to buy Wisconsin products directly from growers using the Farmers' Market Pre-Buy Web site; the Horticulture Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to promote and develop specialty potatoes for the fresh market; Tosca Ltd, Green Bay, to investigate the feasibility of developing a local industry for curly-leaf spinach;

Governor Doyle and Secretary Nilsestuen will be highlighting these grants individually at project sites across the state.

Source: Wisconsin Agriculturist