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Doyle Announces ADD Grant Recipients
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/08/2010

Governor Jim Doyle announced that 11 agriculture innovators will share $225,500 in grants for projects that would strengthen, build or restore sectors of the Wisconsin agricultural industry. The Agricultural Diversification and Development Grants build on the state/s efforts to encourage innovation and diversity in agriculture.

"Agriculture is the backbone of Wisconsin's economy and these innovative projects ensure that agriculture will drive our state economy for years to come," Governor Doyle said. "These grants build on Wisconsin's nation-leading agricultural diversity by encouraging investment, growing jobs and creating new products."

This year's grant recipients include:

** Gorst Valley Hops, Mazomanie, $25,000 to revitalize hops production in Wisconsin by designing equipment, offering processing services, and providing consulting and education to growers.

** McCain Foods USA, Plover, $24,000 to collect a second year of data to judge whether Wisconsin growers can compete with southern states in producing sweet potatoes for processing into frozen fries.

** Scenic Valley Farms, Readstown, $12,000 to help test the feasibility of growing thornless blackberries using high tunnels and may help a consortium of growers supply fresh, locally-grown fruit to wholesale berry companies.

** Blue Iris Fish Farm, Black Creek, $12,000 to study the effectiveness of a new culture technique for yellow perch.

** Joe Seis Farms, Grand Marsh, $6,500 grant for developing and testing mechanical harvesting of sweet potatoes.

** University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Department, Madison, $21,500 to help researchers study production and storage potential in Wisconsin for cut and peel carrots.

** Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Antigo, $24,000 grant for developing storage profiles of new chip potato varieties developed to have longer storage life than is now available.

** Tosca Limited, Green Bay, $19,000 will help develop management recommendations for growers of curly (Savoy) spinach, a high-nutrient, high-value crop that is also useful in crop rotation cycles.

** Cooperative Network, Madison, $25,000 to study the feasibility of locally-owned biomass production in Ashland, with the goal of supporting the emerging biomass fuel needs of Xcel Energy, Wisconsin Fuels for Schools, and other users including hospitals, prisons and factories.

** RCI Engineering, Mayville, $32,500 to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed facility to convert corn wastes and grasses into biomass fuels.

** Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Antigo, $24,000 to develop use of nutrient film technology, a system of circulation a shallow stream of nutrients over the tubers that will become seed potatoes.

Since its inception in 1989, the Agricultural Diversification and Development grant program has generated more than $108 million in economic returns, including annual sales increases and cost reductions as well as other economic returns, according to post-grant surveys.

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