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County Executive's Office

County Executive Falk Announces Agriculture Enterprise Grants Projects Range from a Soybean Plant to Apple Cider

April 25, 2002
Sharyn Wisniewski, (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Apple cider processing, an East Madison farmers market and a soybean processing facility all received a boost today as Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced the six recipients of the county’s Agriculture Enterprise Grants. Making Dane County farms more profitable is the object of the Dane County Agricultural Enterprise Grant Program, created by Falk in her Farms and Neighborhoods initiative. This is the second year of the grant program. “Agriculture is a big part of Dane County’s economy. It contributes highly to our quality of life,” said Falk. “These new products, practices and marketing ideas will benefit farms and communities throughout Dane County.” A total of $91,500 will be split among six projects, chosen from the 31 applications submitted. Grants range in size from $8,655 to $35,000. The Dane County-UW Extension office helped coordinate the selection of the recipients. Falk’s Agricultural Advisory Council and the County Board’s University Extension Committee provided assistance in reviewing the grant applications. Falk announced the grant awards at a press conference attended by several of the recipients. The largest project directs $35,000 to help establish a soybean processing facility in Dane County. A processing plant here would allow farmers to add value to their soybean crop by processing them into oil, meat and hulls. A Wisconsin Soybean Processors Steering Committee is partnering with Dane County in investigating the opportunity to build a soybean processing plant. The funds will be used to develop a business plan, which requires legal, financial and engineering resources. The projects receiving Agricultural Enterprise Grants are summarized below: DANE COUNTY 2002 AG ENTERPRISE GRANT PROGRAM GRANT RECIPIENTS - PROJECT SUMMARY The Dane County Ag Enterprise Grant Program is in its second year of existence. The program, created by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk in her Farms and Neighborhoods initiative, was designed to increase the profitability of farms in Dane County. It provides funds for people to explore ways to develop new products, practices and or marketing ideas that will benefit the future of farms and communities in Dane County. Major emphasis has been directed toward issues that would address public interests and have positive impact on more people than just the recipient. After evaluation of all the great applications, the following projects have been chosen to receive funds this year. South Madison Farmers’ Market Fund Allocation: $12,700 Name of Applicant: South Madison Farmer’s Market Contact Person: Cheryl Wade Phone #: (608) 226-9496 The project’s goals include providing growers new marketing opportunities. Providing local consumers with a source of fresh food products within their community. Providing a community based activity that celebrates community diversity and fosters social interaction. The Market is in its second year of operation and will utilize the funds to further develop its leadership, management and ongoing Farmers Market activities. Preservation of the Commercial Orchard Cider Industry Through the Safe Processing of Cider Using Innovative Technology Fund Allocation: $13,300 Name of Applicant: Albion Prairie Orchard and Cyder Mill, Dan Bussey and Madison Center for Applied Technology - Business Incubator - Madison Center for Food Entrepreneurship Contact Person: Don Warren Phone #: (608) 246-4142 The project’s goal is to develop a cost effective method for apple cider processing, that is user friendly and has verifiable results that will enable compliance with the new FDA 5-log pathogen reduction standard. By developing and making this process available to small growers, they will be able to sustain their safe cider production and increase the market potential for their products. The funds will be utilized for equipment development, design, assembly, testing and documenting effectiveness of the process. Reach, Identify and Establish Markets for Specialty Cut Flowers Grown by Dane County Growers Fund Allocation: $8,655 Name of Applicant: Carol W. Larsen Contact Person: Carol W. Larsen Phone #: (608) 437-3966 The general goal of this project is the same as the title. To accomplish this goal existing markets will be identified in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis St. Paul for cut and dried flower products grown in Dane County. Growers will be contacted and steps will be taken to organize as a producer group. Other activities include taking the initial steps to develop a system to move the products to the markets and promote the Dane County Grower Group in those markets. The expected outcome of this project is the creation of a new Ag business enterprise where small local growers can organize as a group and reach markets that they would not have the resources to research and supply on their own. Wisconsin Soybean Processors, LLC (WiSP) Fund Allocation: $35,000 Name of Applicant: Wisconsin Soybean Processors Steering Committee Contact Person: Keith Ripp Phone #: (608) 849-4519 The project goal is to add value to the soybeans grown in Wisconsin by providing a local soybean processing facility as a new market for all producers. The facility will add value to local soybeans by processing them into oil, meal and hulls. The funds will be utilized to assist in the development of a business plan, which requires educational, legal, financial and engineering resources. WiSP is a group of soybean producers that are taking on the challenge to make this valuable local market available to all soybean producers and soybean product end users by investigating the opportunity to build a local soybean processing plant. Madison Shared Agricultural Facility Fund Allocation: $17,645 Name of Applicant: Home Grown Wisconsin (HGW) Co-op Contact Person: Rick DaVee Phone #: (608) 967-9368 The project goal is to identify a plan for a shared agricultural facility that will provide more direct access to fresh, locally grown farm products for consumers and better markets for farmers. The project goal includes the documentation of the need for a shared facility that could contain indoor retail space for year around access by consumers, a kitchen incubator, cooler/freezer storage, loading and unloading facilities and shared office space for agriculture groups involved. The funds will be utilized to conduct market needs analysis for each of the components identified. This analysis will include supply and demand, competition, and cost/return information for each component. All of this information will then be incorporated into a complete feasibility study document. Eastside Farmers Market Fund Allocation: $4,200 Name of Applicant: Williamson Street Grocery Co-op Contact Person Lauri McKean Phone #: (608) 251-0884 ext. 320 The goal of the project is to establish a mid-week farmers market on the near eastside of Madison. The group organizing the Eastside Farmers Market was started in January 2001. The project has organizational support from the Willy St. Co-op and local support from the neighborhood. A volunteer board will govern the project with representation from the neighborhood residents, vendors, and the Willy St. Co-op. The funds will be used for start up related costs in this kickoff year.