Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center

Wisconsin Farm Center, another resource from the state of Wisconsin and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, releases quarterly newsletters with a wide array of topics. If you are too busy during the growing season, winter may be a great time to catch up on Farm Center newsletters. Another great way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to their email newsletter.

The Farm Center offers a variety of services to Wisconsin farmers.

Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center Newsletter

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has released the Fall issue of the Wisconsin Farm Center newsletter. This issue contains articles on farm succession planning, harvest concerns, and an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill.

For an archive and to sign-up for email updates, go to this web page, the subscription icon is in the left-hand column.

Legal and Business Structure Workshop

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is offering a workshop for farm and food businesses to discuss different types of business structures, property and employment law, and liability insurance issues. For more information, their press release is below:

Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames
608-224-5041 annmarie.ames@wi.gov

Jim Dick, Communications Director
608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Those who want to learn more about legal issues involved with starting and successfully maintaining farms and food businesses should register for next month’s Legal and Business Structure Workshop, which will take place in four locations around Wisconsin. The workshop is part of the annual Local Food Business Seminar Series, designed to help farmers and food business owners improve business practices.

The workshop speakers are Rachel Armstrong from Farm Commons and Courtney Berner of the UW Center for Cooperatives. This highly informative and interactive workshop will benefit those who are planning to start a food business, have recently done so, or who have been running a successful food business for some time.

Topics will include:

● The pros and cons of different business types including non-profit, S corporation or C corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and cooperative.

● Property and employment law including short- and long-term farmland leases, incubator kitchen leases, workman’s compensation and laws regarding the hiring of employees and interns.

● Liability insurance issues including those regarding food safety and agritourism.

Armstrong and Berner will travel to four sites to deliver the workshop on four dates from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6. They will be in Waukesha on Nov. 3, Stevens Point on Nov. 4, Gays Mills on Nov. 5 and Madison on Nov. 6. The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar.

No matter the location, the cost of the seminar is $15 for the first person from any organization and $10 for any additional participants from the same organization. Something Special from Wisconsin members get a $5 discount.

Each seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of the seminar.

To learn the addresses of the seminar site nearest you, to find a complete agenda or to sign up, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

To request a link for the webinar or if you have other questions, contact Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.olson@wisconsin.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with a number of partner organizations, plan the annual Local Business Seminar Series, which will continue monthly through March. The next in the series is food safety from Dec. 1 to Nov. 4. For a complete list, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

Agritourism Liability Workshop

A new agritourism liability law went into effect in April 2014. To learn more about how this may effect your farming operation and strategies to comply with the law, consider attending a free workshop on November 12, 2014 in Saukville, WI. Please download this pdf document for more information.

Learn How to Apply for Agricultural Grants

UWEX-Logo-BLK-small

Farmers and value-added food entrepreneurs can get expert advice from USDA, USDA-SARE, and WI DATCP grant managers on how to apply for grants to improve their food production operations. For more information, see the University of Wisconsin Extension press release below.

Contact: Andrew Bernhardt, 608-890-0097, andrew.bernhardt@ces.uwex.edu

Workshops provide information about applying for agricultural grants
Madison, Wis. – Farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs can learn strategies to access state and federal grants by attending workshops sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in partnership with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, DATCP, SARE, USDA Rural Development, FSA, NRCS and several farm credit agency banks.
The workshops, being held during October in Janesville and Montello and during November in Ashland and Shawano, will provide information about potential grants, the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, cost share programs and other financing options.
Each workshop consists of five main components:

  1. An overview to agricultural grants, grant writing and what makes a strong grant proposal.
  2. A lunch-time presentation from a local grant awardee talking about his/her grant experience.
  3. Description and overview of Ag Grants from grant managers for USDA Value Added Producer Grant, USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and WI-DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant.
  4. A group exercise that allows participants to review actual proposals and gain hands-on experience at grant-writing.
  5. Specific info on other financial options (such as FSA loans, traditional bank loans and NRCS cost share programs) specific to Wisconsin.

Dates, locations and registration:
Oct. 28, 2014 – Janesville; contact: Kim Mork kim.mork@ces.uwex.edu or 608-757-5696
Nov. 4, 2014 – Montello; contact: Lyssa Seefeldt lyssa.seefeldt@ces.uwex.edu or 608-297-3136
Nov. 5, 2014 – Ashland; contact: Jason Fischbach jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu or 715-373-6104 ext. 5
Nov. 12, 2014 – Shawano; contact: Jamie Patton jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu or 715-526-6136

A registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. Please register at least one week in advance.
For more information about:
VAPG, please go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vapg.htm
ADD, please go to: http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/add/index.jsp
SARE, please go to: http://www.northcentralsare.org/
SCBG, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Crops_and_Specialty_Crops/index.aspx
BLBW, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants/index.aspx

Funding available from Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection manages the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program for farmers and other members of the food industry who want to develop local markets for their products.

For more information, please visit the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin website

Resources for Wisconsin Farmers, Part I

This post is the first in a series highlighting resources available to farmers in the state of Wisconsin. This week- free webinars from the Buy Fresh Buy Wisconsin program.

DATCP and the Buy Local Buy Wisconsin offer free webinars throughout the year, including the “Online AgriMarketing: Planning Before You Plant”, by Scott Skelly of Corn Mazes America in Janesville, WI. For an archive of all webinars, go here.

The webinars cover specific topics within knowledge areas of finance, marketing, and on-farm management. Have you thought about using Quickbooks or want to learn more? The archive contains both beginning and intermediate courses. Perhaps you are considering direct market sales, Rachel Armstrong discusses the legal issues that confront farmers selling directly to consumers.

Next week. . . the Wisconsin Farm Center