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Baldwin Delivers $27 Million to Help Grow Wisconsin’s Agricultural Businesses

Baldwin-backed partnership between Wisconsin and USDA will build resilience in food supply chains, support agriculture businesses, and grow the economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced a new partnership between Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strengthen the Badger State’s food supply through the Baldwin-backed American Rescue Plan. Through this agreement, USDA and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will offer $27 million in grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the food supply chain.

“Our farmers and producers feed the world and are the economic engines that drive many of our rural economies – but many face roadblocks to increasing capacity and getting their products to consumers. Whether it's lowering processing costs or improving access to local grocery stores, this partnership will help our farmers tackle these problems, strengthen our food supply chains, and create economic opportunity for our farmers,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to bring home this investment for Wisconsin to ensure our farmers have the tools they need to grow their businesses and reach new markets.”

 “Wisconsin’s agricultural industry is core to our culture, heritage, and economy, and thanks to Senator Baldwin’s advocacy at the federal level, we’ve been able to direct more than $100 million in federal funds to support farmers across the state and invest in bolstering our food processors so they can increase capacity and get more of their product to market,” said Governor Evers. “The announcement of this new cooperative agreement between USDA and DATCP will only build upon those efforts, strengthening our local food supply chains, supporting our rural communities, and keeping food on our grocery store shelves and our tables.”

The partnership will fund projects that expand processing capacities, increase food storage space, reduce energy use, increase commercial kitchen space, improve aggregation and distribution, improve marketing and branding, and increase access to value-added markets for small farms. This will ultimately create more diverse local and regional market options and create additional economic opportunities for communities, allowing them to retain more of the value chain dollar. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program grants to strengthen local and regional food systems. Through this program, the Agricultural Marketing Service has entered into cooperative agreements with state agencies, commissions, or departments responsible for agriculture, commercial food processing, seafood, or food system and distribution activities or commerce activities in states or U.S. territories.

Wisconsin is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through March 6, 2024, and applicants should apply through DATCP. AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.

For more information, visit the AMS Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage.