MADISON, WI (Ben Caxton) — Farmers and businesses involved in Wisconsin’s food industry can now begin applying for funds to help them grow their local markets. The state announced this week that the 2019 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin producer and processor grants are now open. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture the grants can help farms and business more efficiently produce, process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools, and institutions. Program manager Kietra Olson says the grants fund innovative ideas that help producers and other local food businesses become more successful at selling their local products around Wisconsin. To apply for the grants projects must clearly demonstrate a need, show creativity, and help grow the food industry. A total of $170,000 is available in grant funding. The maximum award for each project is $50,000. Proposals must be received by DATCP by noon, March 20, 2019. The target date for grant award notification is April 2019.