DATCP: A.D.D. Grant application deadline extended to May 1

Contact: Mike Bandli 608-224-5136

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has extended the application deadline for Agriculture Development and Diversification grants to Friday, May 1, for 2009. The deadline is ordinarily March 15 of each year, but the Agriculture Department has extended that deadline in order to give more time for applicants to complete the process due to delays in publicizing the 2009 program.

Grants are available to individuals, associations, agribusinesses and industry groups. The department expects to award $357,200 total this year; the maximum grant amount is $50,000. Funding for the A.D.D. program was reduced by 6 percent in the budget as part of state agencies’ efforts to address the state’s current budget challenges. The final amount of funding for the A.D.D. program over the next two years is still subject to legislative approval.

“We are looking for projects that will A.D.D. value to Wisconsin agriculture and invest in the state’s future,” said Rod Nilsestuen, Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Despite the challenging budget times, the state needs to continue to make targeted investments to grow our economy. These highly competitive grants return millions of dollars to the state in increased profits, new markets, and new technologies.”

For example, with help from a 2004 A.D.D. grant, a Wisconsin company has successfully tested technology that converts cheese waste into renewable energy. The company has successfully completed the first phase of the business and is looking to expand production.

2007 grant projects ranged from helping to increase sales for Wisconsin farmers’ markets to developing biomass for fuel to cashing in on the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables by developing cold-hardy plants.

“We welcome a wide variety of projects,” said Mike Bandli, A.D.D. grant program coordinator.

The 2009 application materials are available online at http://www.datcp.state.wi.us, search ‘A.D.D. grants’ or call Mike Bandli at 608-224-5136 for more information.

Grant funds come from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Agricultural Development and Diversification grant program.

The A.D.D. 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 and more than 400 new products developed.