Workshop to help agricultural businesses with potential grants

/Photo by Heather Gardner via freeimages.com

/Photo by Heather Gardner via freeimages.com

Are you looking for ways to develop your innovative agricultural business?  UW-Extension in partnership with the USDA, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute will host a one-day Agricultural Grants Workshop at to help farmers learn about potential grants, as well as cost-share programs and other financing options.

The workshop is open to Kenosha County residents.

Wisconsin farmers have used grants to develop value-added enterprises, try out innovative production and marketing techniques, and educate other farmers and the public about sustainable agriculture.  But figuring out whether a grant program is right for you and working through the application can be intimidating.  This workshop will discuss when grants make sense and cover ways to plan your project and strengthen your application.

The workshop consists of five main components:

  • An overview of agricultural grants, grant writing and what makes a strong grant proposal.
  • A lunch-time presentation from a local grant awardee talking about his/her grant experience.
  • Description and overview of Ag Grants from grant managers for USDA Value Added Producer Grant, USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and Wisconsin’s Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant.
  • A hands-on group exercise that allows participants to review actual proposals and practice grant-writing.
  • Information on other financial options (such as FSA loans, traditional bank loans and NRCS cost-share programs) specific to Wisconsin.

The workshop will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy.  A registration fee of $15/person will cover the cost of lunch and materials.  For more information and to register, contact Leigh Presley, agriculture educator, UW-Extension Cooperative Extension, Racine and Kenosha counties  at leigh.presley@ces.uwex.edu or 857-1948 or 262-767-2905.

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