USDA Webinar: Local Food Financing and Cooperative Business Models

Need capital? Where do you turn? There are many sources for financing food enterprises and cooperatives, including grants, loans, investors, and member equity. In this webinar, you’ll hear from food systems and usda-logocooperative development experts on various financing options available, and key considerations in choosing the right option based on the type of business and stage of development.

When: Thursday, Sep 29, 2 pm – 3:15 pm EST

  • James Barham, Food Systems Specialist, USDA Rural Development
  • Margaret Bau, Cooperative Development Specialist, USDA Rural Development

Join Webinar by Clicking: HERE (no need to pre-register)

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Join the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch on October 13th!

greatlakesapplecrunchOffices, organizations, restaurants, and businesses are invited to join schools across Wisconsin in celebrating National Farm to School Month by crunching into locally grown apples on Thursday, October 13, 2016. The Great Lakes Apple Crunch isn’t just for kids: anyone who loves apples and local farmers is encouraged to participate!

Why register your event? Organizers will receive an updated copy of the Great Apple Crunch Guide and participants will be officially counted to help us meet the goal of ONE MILLION CRUNCHES this year. Sign up today and help us support local farmers throughout the region!

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2016 Double Dollars Program Starts July 3rd

We are happy to announce that this year’s Double Dollars program will begin on Sunday, July 3rd! It is also with tremendous excitement to announce that the Dane County Farmers’ Market and the South Madison Farmers’ Market is on board with the program this year.This is going to be the best year for Double Dollars yet! The Madison Area Farmers’ Market Double Dollars program provides a bonus incentive to SNAP users at farmers’ markets by providing up to a $25 match per market day when a customer uses their SNAP benefits at participating markets.FoodShare-EBT%20sign

PLEASE NOTE that Double Dollars will not be available at the Saturday Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Capitol Square until July 16th.  Double Dollars will be available at all other participating markets beginning the week of July 3rd. This year Double Dollars will continue into December or until the funding runs out. Whichever comes first!

Please share this information widely within your organization or with anyone that might be interested in using or helping to promote or support the program. PDF of flyer in English HERE. PDF of flyer in Spanish HERE. Community Action Coalition will have hard copy fliers (8.5×11 and smaller handouts) available within the next two weeks.

If you would like to have hard copy materials to distribute, or have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact:
Nahrissa Rush
Food Security Specialist (Farmers’ Markets)
Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Inc.

The participating markets for the 2016 program are:

Monona Farmers’ Market
Ahuska Park, Monona
Sundays 9am-1pm

Northside Farmers’ Market
N. Sherman Ave @ Northport Dr
Sundays 8:30am-12:30pm

Eastside Farmers’ Market
Central Park, 202 S. Ingersoll St
Tuesdays 4pm-7pm

El Mercadito de Centro
Centro Hispano, 810 W. Badger Road
Tuesdays 9am-1pm
June-early November

South Madison Farmers’ Market
Labor Temple, South Park Street – Tuesdays 2:00pm-6:00pm
Villager Mall, South Park Street – Fridays 2:00pm-6:00pm

Westside Community Market
Hill Farms DOT University @ Segoe
Saturdays 7am-1pm
April-Early November

Dane County Farmers’ Market
Capitol Square – Saturdays 6:30am-2:00pm
*Double Dollars will be available at the Saturday market beginning July 16th*
(EBT Available 7:00am-1:00pm)
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd – Wednesdays 8:30am-2:00pm
(EBT Available 10:30am-1:00pm)
Outdoor season April-early November
Indoors at Monona Terrace mid-November to mid-December
Senior Center January-April



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Food & the Wisconsin Idea Gathering

food and wisco idea

You are invited to the next Food System Gathering on Thursday, June 9th from 3:30-4:30pm in the basement of the University Club followed by networking and Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30pm on the first floor.

Greg Lawless from UW-Extension will be hosting this month and his colleague Carrie Edgar from Dane County UW-Extension will moderate a discussion and informal panel about “Diversifying the Food and Agriculture Industry in Wisconsin”. Preview the list of panelists and RSVP to the event on Facebook.

The University Club is located at 803 State Street on Library Mall, with ample public parking in the nearby Lake Street ramp.

wisco idea hosts

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FMPP and LFPP Grants Accepting Applications through May 12

This week, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced that the Farmers Market USDA LOGOPromotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) are now accepting proposals through May 12, 2016. Approximately $13 million is available for each of these programs, and the maximum grant awards have increased to $500,000.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant program period is also open and applicants may submit their proposals through their state agricultural departments.

Applications for FMPP and LFPP must be submitted electronically through  Applicants should start the registration process as soon as possible to ensure that they meet the deadline. 

AMS will host a webinar on March 24, 2016, at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) for FMPP and LFPP applicants (registration link).  For more information about webinars, visit the AMS grants website:

In addition, AMS will host webinars on March 22 (registration link) and March 29 (registration link), both at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time), to explain how to submit grant applications via

Additional grant writing workshops will be held through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project. Please visit to see if training is scheduled in your area.

More details are available:

Farmers Market Promotion Program

Local Food Promotion Program

Info on AMS training webinars



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Apply now for the 4th Annual Business Investor Showcase


Slow Money Wisconsin is excited to invite food and value-added farm businesses to apply for inclusion in their 4th annual Business Investor Showcase.

Since 2012 Slow Money Wisconsin’s Investor Showcase has:

  • Facilitated over $4,000,000 in investments for Showcase Businesses
  • Prepared 26 businesses to deliver an investor pitch
  • Provided one-on-one technical assistance to over 26 businesses
  • Connected entrepreneurs to businesses development opportunities throughout the region

As a selected Slow Money Wisconsin Investor Showcase Business you receive:

  • 8 to 10 hours of one-on-one technical assistance
  • Access to a curated investor panel at our Business Investor Showcase
  • Access to showcase attendees including investors, bankers, and other financial representatives
  • An investor pitch/presentation
  • Inclusion in the Slow Money Wisconsin business portfolio

If your application is not accepted, your application fee gets you:

  • A 30-60 minute phone consultation with one of our coaches, providing technical and funding ideas for your venture
  • Two tickets to our Business Investor Showcase

Slow Money Wisconsin Business Investor Timeline

  • Feb 11th to March 11th – applications accepted
  • March 11th to March 30th – applications reviewed
  • Week of March 28th – applicants notified of acceptance
  • April 1st to May 4th – accepted applicants work with mentors
  • April 29th – Kick Off Event @ Alt Brew/ 1808 Wright St/ Madison, WI 53704
  • April 29th through May 5th – various promotional events
  • May 6th Business Investor Showcase @ The East Side Club / 3735 Monona Drive / Madison, WI 53714

To submit an application for consideration please:

  • complete the application and prepare any supplemental documents
  • submit application by or before March 11th to
  • submit the $100 application fee to

Best of luck!

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2016 Southern WI Vegetable Production Workshops coming soon!


Early Bird Registration ends on Tuesday 1/26

Dane County UW-Extension and the FairShare CSA Coalition are teaming up again to put on the 2016 Southern Wisconsin Vegetable Production Workshops. Join us to learn detailed production information on specific vegetable crops from farmer presenters representing a variety of scales and techniques. Extension specialists will also share current research on the crops. Though these workshops are not exclusively organic, there is a focus on organic practices.

Each workshop is enhanced by a handout including detailed production notes from each of three farmer presenters per crop. Download past handouts, learn more, and register at the Vegetable Production Workshops event page.

Wednesday, February 10th

1-3 pm: Brussels Sprouts with Mike Noltnerwyss of Crossroads Community Farm, Jillian Varney of Small Family Farm, and Russ Groves or Amanda Gevens of UW Extension

3-5 pm: Organic Weed Management with Steve Pincus of Tipi Produce, Heidi Accola of Roots & Shoots, and John Middleton of Fazenda Boa Terra

Thursday, February 18th

1-3 pm: Sweet Potatoes with David Perkins of Vermont Valley Community Farm, Noah Engel of Driftless Organics, Tony Schultz of Stoney Acres Farm, and Russ Groves or Amanda Gevens of UW Extension

3-5 pm: Melons with Steve Pincus of Tipi Produce, Kat Becker of Stoney Acres Farm, Brian Emerson of West Madison Ag Research Station, and Russ Groves or Amanda Gevens of UW Extension


Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI. Free Parking. Rooms will be larger this year to more comfortably accommodate our growing numbers.


Register by January 26th for the Early Bird rate of $40 for the whole series or $25 for one day. After the 26th, the registration fee will be $50 for the whole series or $30 for one day.

Supported by grants from:blooming


As AA/EEO employer, UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements. To ensure equal access, please make requests for reasonable accommodations prior to the program (10 days is reasonable). Call 224-3707 to request an accommodation.
Please note that a photographer will be taking videos and pictures of participants at these events. UW-Extension will use these videos and pictures in a manner consistent with the UW-Extension’s mission. Your attendance at these events indicates your consent for your image to be recorded and used in this manner.
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