Governor Doyle Dedicates New Organic Valley Distribution Center,
Announces Grants to Continue Growth Across the State
CASHTON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced organic farming in Wisconsin has risen by more than 90 percent in the last five years, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wisconsin’s entire organic industry – from processors to businesses to farms – has grown by 17 percent in the last year alone. Governor Doyle highlighted this surge in organic agriculture during a grand opening for Organic Valley’s new distribution center in Cashton.
Governor Doyle also announced $57,000 to continue growing organic agriculture in Wisconsin – ensuring high quality organic goods from Wisconsin farms, and growing Wisconsin’s agricultural industry.
“Agriculture is the cornerstone of our state economy,” Governor Doyle said. “It is part of who we are as a state, and generates $51 billion annually for our economy. To prepare our agricultural industry and the farm families who support it for the future, we must invest and foster the growth of organic agriculture, and continue producing high quality, organic goods that Wisconsin makes famous.”
Wisconsin ranks first nationally in organic dairy operations, and first in organically raised livestock. Wisconsin has 807 organic farms across the state – ranking second nationally behind California. Wisconsin is also in the top five states for organic corn, soybeans, oats, barley, rye and hay production, and in the top ten for organically grown vegetables and flowers.
To continue growing organic farming across Wisconsin, Governor Doyle announced the following grants:
· $20,000 to Michael Fields Agriculture Institute in East Troy to develop nutritional organic poultry feed;
· $14,500 to Home Grown Wisconsin in Madison to develop and implement food safety protocols for organic farm production; and
· $22,500 to support research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Department, to develop farming practices for large scale organic vegetable production.