County Executive Falk Announces Winner of Agriculture Enterprise Grant and Opportunities for Next Year’s Funding
April 07, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the winner of this year’s Agriculture Enterprise Grant Program, Badger Biodiesel, LLC, a firm that is exploring the potential to produce a biodiesel fuel product right on the farm. Falk also announced $60,000 in grant funds for the next cycle is now available.
The grant program helps farmers in Dane County stay profitable by helping them develop and implement business plans that create local food and production-related businesses that improve agricultural profitability.
“The agriculture grant program is one step the county can take to help our 2500 farmers stay farming,” said Falk. “By increasing farmers’ profitability, more farmers will keep farming. Farming is both a very important part of Dane County’s economy and is highly valued by our citizens.”
“This is a great opportunity for innovative agricultural projects for Dane County, “ said Bob Uphoff, Chairman of the Dane County Agricultural Advisory Council.
Badger Biodiesel, LLC, is a joint venture by William O’Brien of O’Brien Farms and Tony Hartman of Great Lakes BioFuels. They are developing a model called “Biodiesel-in a Box”, a small scale, skid mounted seed oil processing and biodiesel manufacturing unit that can be transported from farm to farm. This would help farmers increase profitability by providing a farm an opportunity to reduce their overall fuel costs for equipment by making fuel right on the farm from their own crops.
The intent of the grant program is to provide funding for farmers and food producers to:
· Explore the modernization of existing local food production systems
· Identify new uses and potential markets for existing commodities
· Identify uses and potential markets for new specialty products
· Encourage the development of new value added products and technologies
· Ultimately create a job or jobs related to these business development activities
Grants are available in two separate categories. The first are grants of $1,000 for the successful development of business plans. Up to 15 qualified plans will be accepted for funding. The second category of funding is for full proposals that include completed business plans and create jobs. Applications will be considered by the Agricultural Advisory Council, created by Falk.
Some past examples of funded projects include, funds for new apple cider processing technology, an East Madison farmers market and a local soybean processing facility business plan development.
For additional information and or grant proposal guidelines please call 608-224-3705. Proposals will be accepted until 4 PM May 1, 2006.
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