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.

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

Wisconsin First Detector Network

Agronomy’s Mark Renz launches the Wisconsin First Detector Network to track invasive species across the state. The following text is Mark Renz’s press release:

For those interested in invasive species (all taxa) see below for an opportunity to join Wisconsin’s First Detector Network.

Invasive species are considered to be the number two threat to biodiversity and the effects are increasingly evident on Wisconsin’s landscape. While many of these pests are here to stay, others have not yet been found or are at low enough levels that eradication may be possible. Unfortunately many of these populations go undetected until eradication become difficult, if not impossible.

To address this issue we have developed Wisconsin’s First Detector Network (WIFDN). The goal of this network is to educate citizen scientists about invasive species biology, ecology, and identification and develop networks that increase awareness and knowledge of invasive species locations across the landscape. This network will work closely with agency staff, and others at the federal, state and local level.

Participants will receive training through a combination of prerecorded videos, interactive online sessions, and in-field volunteering projects. Trainings will be available to Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists only in 2014, but will be available to the general public in 2015. The cost of registration is $30, which grants access to interactive online training sessions and access to hands on training opportunities.

If interested please view a preview video by visiting the website (http://fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn; scroll down to see video). We are accepting registration for this training on the website. Training (online) will begin on March 21st, and occur approximately every two weeks (see: http://fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn/trainings/ for details). Trainings will be recorded, and available if participants miss a training session.

For questions please contact the WIFDN project coordinator, Tony Summers (asummers2@wisc.edu;608-262-9570) or myself.

Learning from your living room

The University of Wisconsin and UW-Extension produce a wide array of educational videos. Most of these videos are posted on various YouTube channels.

Resource for New and Experienced Pesticide Applicators

The Weed Science Society of America produced a series of articles covering different pesticide handling and application topics. To access the Pesticide Stewardship Series, go here.

Pesticide Stewardship Series titles:

  1. Safety Begins at the Point of Sale
  2. The Buyer Has Important Responsibilities
  3. Hiring a Pest Management Professional
  4. The Importance of Reading the Pesticide Label
  5. Restricted Use Pesticides Require an Extra Level of Care
  6. Certification Programs Fulfill an Essential Need for Competent Pesticide Applicators
  7. Always Be Diligent Concerning Personal Protective Equipment
  8. Employers Play a Central Role in Protecting Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers
  9. Preparation and Oversight are Vital When Storing a Pesticide

The Pesticide Applicator Training program, at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, provides training opportunities, manuals, training aids, and fact sheets. For more information about the program, visit their website. Got questions? Call the program at (608) 262-7588 or send an email to PATprogram@mailplus.wisc.edu