Gov. 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 grants are:
Governor Doyle's energy independence goal is to have 25 percent of the state's fuel and energy from renewable sources by 2025 and to make Wisconsin the best place for no waste, bio-based industry to grow.
* $39,000 to Marquette University, Milwaukee, to enhance the production of methane gas in anaerobic digesters. Anaerobic digesters convert waste into gas that is used to generate electricity. Wisconsin's 22 anaerobic digesters generate more electricity than any other state, enough to power 7,300 homes.
* $25,000 to Great Lakes Renewable Energy, Inc., Rice Lake, to develop wood pellet fuel from timber harvest waste, a by-product of paper production and other timber-based industries. Wisconsin ranks number one in the nation in paper production.
* $38,000 to Planet LLC, Madison, to design and provide a bio-secure, controlled environment for start up companies that grow plants for pharmaceuticals and to establish protocols that meet FDA approval.
* $46,000 to Agrecol Corporation, Madison, to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study to develop a bioheat business based on converting native grasses into biomass fuel pellets.
$48,000 to ENCAP, LLC, Green Bay, to research technology that separates solids and nutrients from liquid manure and also determine if there is a market for manure solids for cow bedding, composting, retail fertilizer and other uses.
$37,500 to 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 generates $20.1 billion for the state annually, or $39,000 a second.
* $43,000 to Alta Genetics, Watertown, to improve dairy cattle genetics and bull fertility. Dairy genetics underpin the state's dairy industry and accounted for $31 million in agricultural exports in 2006, an amount expected to increase by 17% again this year.
* $14,900 to Lovetree Farmstead Cheese, Grantsburg, to develop protocols for businesses who offer custom cheese aging for cheesemakers looking to add value to their products. Specialty cheese has grown to 16 percent of the cheese market in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin ranks first in the nation for the production of organic dairy and meat products and consumer demand for organic products continues to grow.
* $22,500 to the Horticulture Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to research the economical feasibly of large-scale organic vegetable crop production.
* $14,500 to Home Grown Wisconsin to implement food safety protocols for organically grown products including fresh fruits and vegetables.
* $20,000 to Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, to test the methinonine content of corn hybrids for organic poultry producers. Methinonine, an essential nutrient in poultry feed, is currently available only as a synthetic additive and must be phased out by 2009 to meet federal organic standards.
* $29,670 to GreenLeaf Market to enable consumers to buy Wisconsin products directly from growers using the Farmers' Market Pre-Buy Web site to order products online in real time.
* $15,000 to the Horticulture Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to promote and develop specialty potatoes for the fresh market. Wisconsin ranks third in the nation in potato production.
* $22,500 to the West Madison Agricultural Research Station, Verona, to grow and test production methods for seedless table grapes for the fresh market.
* $10,600 to Tosca Ltd, Green Bay, to investigate the feasibility of developing a local industry for curly-leaf spinach, a hearty, high-nutrient, high value crop that thrives in cool weather.
* $23,500 to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, Bayfield, to develop technologies to propagate lake herring, a new, high-value species, for northern Wisconsin.
Governor Doyle and Secretary Nilsestuen will be highlighting these grants individually at project sites across the state.