11/30/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2023 10:24
WISCONSIN - Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced that six Wisconsin rural businesses are receiving a total of nearly $1.3 million in funding to reach new customers and add value to their businesses through The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. As then-chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees rural development, Senator Baldwin helped secure this funding through last year's government funding process.
"Wisconsin's agricultural businesses are the beating heart of rural communities, and I am committed to ensuring they have the resources they need to grow for the future," said Senator Baldwin. "These grants will help businesses all over the state create new products, get the word out about their businesses, and attract new customers so they can continue to grow, hire more workers, and invest in their communities."
The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. VAPG funds can be used for activities and expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. Examples of how these funds can be used include conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans for processing and marketing the proposed value-added product, processing costs, or marketing and advertising expenses.
The following Wisconsin businesses received USDA Value-Added Producer Grants:
Fond du Lac County - $250,000 to process corn and wheat into high-end craft spirits including bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and gin. Funds will also be used for marketing. This project is estimated to increase their customer base by over 6,000 customers and increase revenue by more than $1.3 million.
MAY HILL FARM
Fond du Lac County -$49,960 to provide working capital to May Hill Farm LLC, a beginning farming operation, to process hogs into whole/half hogs, individual cuts, pork sausage products, pork subscription boxes, and high end cut sales to restaurants and retailers. Funds will also be used for marketing. This project will increase their customer base by about 194 customers and increase revenue by $150,000.
LAKESHORE FOREST PRODUCTS
Manitowoc County - $250,000 to provide working capital to process hardwood logs into kiln-dried hardwood lumber. Funds will also be used for marketing. This project is estimated to increase revenue by more than $4 million.
Western and Central Wisconsin
CHATEAU SAINT CROIX
Polk County - $250,000 to provide working capital to Chateau Saint Croix, a small winery in northern Wisconsin, to increase direct-to consumer sales of its locally grown and produced wines. The project will increase their customer base by over 1,600 customers and is projected to increase sales by approximately $346,000.
RED DOOR FAMILY FARM
Marathon County -$250,000 to provide working capital to Red Door Family Farm LLC, a certified organic farming operation in Athens, Wisconsin, to increase sales of its produce to new customers. The project will increase their customer base by more than 600 customers and is projected to increase sales by nearly $420,000.
THREE BROTHERS FARM, LLC
Waukesha County - $249,962 to provide working capital to Three Brothers Farm LLC, a small farming operation in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, to increase sales of certified organic, pasture-raised eggs to new customers. The project is estimated to increase their customer base by nearly 800 customers and is projected to increase sales by $725,000.
More information about USDA's Value-Added Grant Program is available here.