Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Governor's Office: Governor Jim Doyle awarded $380,000 in Agriculture Development and Diversity (ADD) grants to 17 projects across the state Monday.
The grants will fund agriculture business innovation in a wide range of projects, ranging from dairy development to renewable energy to a wine cooperative.
"This early stage funding for innovative work keeps Wisconsin ahead of the curve by creating new markets, increasing valued added opportunities and building up our existing agriculture sector," Governor Doyle said. "Wisconsin's creativity and innovation are the reasons our agriculture sector remains a national leader. These grants show that from small steps big ideas can grow."
The ADD grants provide early stage funds for market research and development, new product research and development, and feasibility studies of new technologies and practices.
The intent is to help identify and develop new profit centers and opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses, and provide information, programs and services that can result in increased income for farmers.
The ADD program was created to stimulate Wisconsin's farm economy.
Based on post-grant surveys, the program has generated more than $108 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 650 new jobs; more than $40 million in new capital investment; and more than 450 new products developed.
This year's grants went to:
University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, $24, 205
The UW-Madison and UW-Stevens Point facility will demonstrate new technologies for raising large walleye and hybrid walleye in a single season, to be used commercially for stocking and fish food.
West Madison Agricultural Research Station, Verona, $20,075
The West Madison Agricultural Research Station will continue a field trial of 15 new seedless table grape varieties for southwest Wisconsin, evaluating disease and insect resistance.
Midori Horticultural Services LLC, Madison, $15,000
Midori Horticultural Services will market alternative bee species for crop pollination, to avoid the diseases and pests that have reduced honey bee populations.
Midwest Food Processors Association Inc., Madison, $22,500
The Midwest Food Processors Association will evaluate UW-Madison lines of snap beans resistant to root rot, to find the variety that will be best for organic production.
Immuno-Dynamics Inc., Fennimore, $32,500
Immuno-Dynamics will verify the effectiveness of two products derived from colostrum (contained in milk produced for newborn calves) to treat mastitis in dairy cows.
Bayfield Apple Company, Bayfield, $9,670
Bayfield Apple Company will continue research and development of jelly beans made from produce from the Bayfield Area's 14 fruit farms, providing a use for unsold fruit.
Sun Power Biodiesel LLC, Cumberland, $25,000
Sun Power Biodiesel will develop markets for canola and sunflower oil and meal produced from northwestern Wisconsin crops, with the goal of increasing oil seed crop production by 10,000 acres in a 10-county area.
Foremost Farms USA Cooperative, Baraboo, $33,000
Foremost Farms will determine how much delactosed permeate, a byproduct of cheese and other dairy food production, could be mixed into dairy feed rations. This would provide a low-cost energy source for cows and reduce the costs and environmental concerns involved in land-spreading delactosed permeate, the current means of disposal.
Comstock Dairy Enterprises Inc., Comstock, $23,700
Comstock Dairy Enterprises will develop a model to optimize efficiency in small cheese plants, using a variety of technological and analytical tools.
McCain Foods USA Inc., Plover, $12,350
McCain Foods will investigate whether sweet potatoes grown in Wisconsin could be cost-competitive with those now purchased from southern growers for processing in Wisconsin.
Tosca Limited, Green Bay, $12,000
Tosca Limited will conduct field trials of curly leaf spinach production in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Antigo, $25,000
Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association will work with UW-Madison to evaluate storage quality of new varieties of potatoes used to make chips, with the hope of extending the storage period so processors could buy Wisconsin potatoes three to four months longer than they now can, increasing sales of Wisconsin chip potatoes.
UW-Madison Horticulture, $22,500
UW-Madison Horticulture will determine production and storage potential in Wisconsin for cut-and-peel carrots, a higher value product than processing carrots.
Cedar Grove Cheese Inc., Plain, $25,000
Cedar Grove Cheese aims to create production capacity and marketing assistance for small-scale production of products made from milk from individual farms or groups of farms.
Wisconsin Wineries Association Inc., Madison, $45,000
The Wisconsin Wineries Association will conduct a feasibility study of forming a cooperative for Wisconsin wineries producing less than 25,000 gallon a year, to allow them to continue selling their wine wholesale. A recent change in state law prohibits individual small wineries from selling wholesale, but permits cooperative wholesalers.
Premier Cooperative, Mount Horeb, $25,000
Premier Cooperative will evaluate the feasibility of collecting biomass such as waste wood, switch grass and corn stover from the region and processing it into dense fuel pellets to meet Alliant Energy's biomass requirements.
Western Wisconsin Beef Producers Cooperative, Sparta, $7,500
Western Wisconsin Beef Producers Cooperative will hold a feeder calf auction featuring Wisconsin calves raised under standards outlined in the Badger VAC 45 program for weaning, vaccinations and care, with the goal of generating numbers and attracting more buyers.