New capital investment and expansion in the agricultural industry.
Agricultural product market development and expansion.
Diversification and expansion of the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products.
Diversification and expansion of the production, processing, and distribution of forestry products that are used to produce alternative fuels, heat, or electricity.
Commercial application of new technologies or practices related to agricultural products.
Commercial application of new technologies or practices related to the production of alternative fuels, heat, or electricity from forestry products.
Improvement of the competitive position of this state's agricultural industry.
Efficient use of farmland and other agricultural resources.
The department may not fund any project under this subsection if the proposed length of the project exceeds 3 years. The total funding to a single project under this subsection may not exceed $50,000.
If the department receives an application under this subsection for a grant for a forestry-related project, analysis, or applied research, the department shall do all of the following:
Consult with the department of natural resources in evaluating the grant application.
If the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection awards the grant, require the grant recipient to coordinate its activities under the grant with any forestry-related programs identified by the department of natural resources in the consultation under subd. 1.
The department may not make a grant under this subsection that exceeds 67 percent of project costs.
The department may not make a grant under this section for an ethanol production facility on which construction begins after July 27, 2005, unless a competitive bidding process is used for the construction of the ethanol production facility.
See also ch. ATCP 161
, Wis. adm. code.
Bioenergy council. 93.47(1)(1)
The bioenergy council shall identify voluntary best management practices for sustainable biomass and biofuels production, which may include consideration of practices related to choosing biomass species, where to plant, crop management, harvest, and processing and transport, and factors such as soil management, chemical inputs, carbon sequestration in soil and root mass, plant and animal biodiversity, and other factors at the discretion of the council. The council shall consider efforts relating to sustainable biomass and biofuels production conducted by other entities, including the council on forestry.
The council shall report its findings, at least biennially, to agencies and private parties that assist producers of biofuel feedstocks and biofuels, as determined by the council.
History: 2009 a. 401
Buy local grant program. 93.48(1)(1)
The department may award grants from the appropriation under s. 20.115 (4) (am)
to individuals or organizations to fund projects that are designed to increase the sale of agricultural products grown in this state that are purchased in close proximity to where they are produced. The department may not award a grant under this section unless the applicant contributes matching funds equal to at least 50 percent of the costs of the project. The department shall promulgate rules for the program under this section.
The department may make grants under this section for any of the following purposes:
To create, promote, and support regional food and cultural tourism trails.
To promote the development of regional food systems through activities such as creating or expanding facilities for the processing and distribution of food for local consumption; creating or supporting networks of producers; and strengthening connections between producers, retailers, institutions, and consumers and nearby producers.
History: 2007 a. 20
; 2013 a. 20
Farm to school programs. 93.49(1)(1)
In this section, “farm to school program" means a program to connect schools with nearby farms to provide children with locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and other nutritious, locally produced foods in school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks; help children develop healthy eating habits; provide nutritional and agricultural education; and improve farmers' incomes and direct access to markets.
(2) Department responsibilities. 93.49(2)(a)
The department shall promote farm to school programs. The department shall encourage schools, as part of farm to school programs, to purchase food produced in this state and to provide nutritional and agricultural education, including farm visits, cooking demonstrations, and composting and gardening at schools.
The department shall do all of the following in carrying out its responsibilities under par. (a)
Identify impediments to providing locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and other nutritious, locally produced foods in school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks and seek to reduce those impediments.
Advise other state agencies and local agencies on actions to promote farm to school programs and coordinate the department's activities under this subsection with related activities of other state agencies, including the department of public instruction and the department of health services, local agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
Promote communications between local farmers and schools and sales of food from local farmers to schools.
Conduct training and provide technical assistance for school food service personnel and managers, farmers, and food distributors and processors concerning farm to school programs and food safety and procurement.
Promote farm to school programs through a public education campaign.
Provide information on its Internet site concerning farm to school programs.
Consult with the farm to school council and other interested persons.
From the appropriation under s. 20.115 (4) (as)
, the department shall provide grants to school districts, in coordination with the department of public instruction, and to nonprofit organizations, farmers, and any other entities for the creation and expansion of farm to school programs. The department shall give preference to proposals that are innovative or that provide models that other school districts can adopt.
The department may provide funding under this subsection for projects that do any of the following:
Create, expand, diversify, or promote production, processing, marketing, and distribution of food produced in this state for sale to schools in this state.
Create, expand, or renovate facilities, including purchases of equipment for the facilities, that would ensure the use of food produced in this state in schools in this state.
Provide, expand, or promote training for food service personnel, farmers, and distributors.
Provide, expand, or promote nutritional and agricultural education in the classroom.
The department shall consult with the farm to school council and other interested persons to establish grant priorities for each fiscal year.
The department shall promulgate rules for the administration of this section.
At least annually, the farm to school council shall report to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
and to the secretary on the needs and opportunities for farm to school programs.
History: 2009 a. 293
Farm mediation and arbitration program. 93.50(1)(1)
In this section:
“Action" means a court action involving a dispute described in sub. (3) (am) 2.
in which at least one party is a farmer or a court action by a creditor against a farmer for payment of a debt; to enforce or foreclose a security interest, lien or mortgage; or to repossess or declare a creditor's interest in real property. “Action" includes garnishment, replevin, execution of judgment, involuntary receivership and supplementary creditor's proceedings.
“Agricultural property" means real property that is used principally for farming, real property that is a farmer's principal residence and any land contiguous to the residence, personal property that is used as security to finance farming or personal property that is used for farming.
“Creditor" means any person who has a claim against agricultural property or against a farmer affecting the farmer's agricultural property, whether the claim is matured or unmatured, liquidated or unliquidated, secured or unsecured, fixed or contingent. “Creditor" includes the county treasurer of a county in which agricultural property is located if property taxes, special assessments that have been settled in full by the county under s. 74.29
, special charges or special taxes levied or assessed against the agricultural property are subject to a tax certificate issued under s. 74.57
“Farmer" means a farmer, as defined in s. 102.04 (3)
, who owns or leases land that is agricultural property and whose gross sales of farm products for the preceding year equaled or exceeded the product of 2,088 multiplied by the federal minimum hourly wage under 29 USC 206
., except that the department may waive the gross sales requirement if the department determines that extraordinary personal circumstances warrant waiver.
“Livestock feeding contract" means an agreement between a farmer and another person under which one party cares for and feeds livestock owned by the other party.
“Procurement contract" has the meaning given for “vegetable procurement contract" in s. 126.55 (15)
Selection of mediators.
The department shall select as mediators persons who have the character and ability to serve as mediators and who have knowledge of financial or agricultural matters or of mediation processes. The department shall ensure that each mediator receives sufficient training in mediation processes, resolving conflicts, farm credit and other subjects to develop or maintain the skills necessary to perform his or her functions under this section.
Selection of arbitrators.
The department shall select as arbitrators persons who have the character and ability to serve as arbitrators and who have knowledge of arbitration or other conflict resolution processes. The department may provide training in arbitration processes, resolving conflicts or agricultural issues as part of process of selecting arbitrators or to arbitrators selected by the department to enable arbitrators to maintain the skills necessary to perform their functions under this section.
Compensation of mediators and arbitrators.
Mediators and arbitrators shall be compensated for travel and other necessary expenses in amounts approved by the department.
Immunity of mediators and arbitrators.
Mediators and arbitrators are immune from civil liability for any act or omission within the scope of their performance of their powers and duties under this section.
Forms and publicity.
The department shall prepare all forms necessary for the administration of this section and shall ensure that forms are disseminated and that the availability of mediation and arbitration under this section is publicized.
Exclusion from open records law.
All mediators and arbitrators shall keep confidential all information and records obtained in conducting mediation and arbitration. The department shall keep confidential all information and records that may serve to identify any party to mediation and arbitration under this section. Any information required to be kept confidential under this paragraph may be disclosed if the department and the parties agree to disclosure.
The department may promulgate rules necessary to implement this section. The department may promulgate rules defining owners and creditors of agriculturally related businesses and permitting owners and creditors of such businesses to participate in mediation and arbitration subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to farmers and creditors under this section.
(2m) Suspension of court action to allow for voluntary mediation or arbitration. 93.50(2m)(a)
During the pendency of any action, the court may, upon the written stipulation of all parties to the action that they wish to engage in mediation or arbitration under this section, enter an order suspending the action.
A suspension order under par. (a)
suspends all orders and proceedings for the time period specified in the suspension order. In specifying the time period, the court shall exercise its discretion for the purpose of permitting the parties to engage in mediation or arbitration without prejudice to the rights of any person. The suspension order may include such other terms and conditions as the court may deem appropriate. The suspension order may be revoked upon motion of any person or upon motion of the court.
If all parties to the action agree, by written stipulation, that all issues before the court are resolved by mediation or arbitration under this section, the court shall dismiss the action.
If the parties do not agree under par. (c)
or if the court revokes the suspension order under par. (b)
, the action shall proceed as if no mediation or arbitration had been attempted.
Participation in mediation.
A farmer or a person having a dispute with a farmer who wishes to resolve a dispute between them, either before an action has been initiated to which they are parties or after entry of a suspension order in an action to which they are parties under sub. (2m)
, may participate in mediation under this section in accordance with this subsection if the dispute is of a kind specified in par. (am)
Disputes that may be mediated.
The following kinds of disputes may be mediated under this section:
A dispute between a farmer and a creditor involving the farmer's agricultural property and the creditor's claim affecting the agricultural property.
A dispute in which one party alleges that an action by, or condition of the property of, the other party is a nuisance.
A dispute involving air, water or soil contamination or other environmental issues.
A kind of dispute specified as eligible for mediation by the department by rule.
A dispute that is not specified under subds. 1.
if all of the parties to the dispute request mediation of the dispute.
Request for mediation; agreement to mediate.
To participate in mediation, the farmer or other party to a dispute described in par. (am)
shall submit a request for mediation to the department on forms prepared by the department. The department may not proceed under this section until the farmer and the other party have submitted an agreement to mediate.
Selection of mediator.
If the department has obtained the agreement under par. (b)
, the farmer and the other party may request the department to provide the names, mailing addresses and qualifications of up to 3 mediators located in the geographical area in which the agricultural property or farmer is located. The parties shall select a mediator or, upon request of the parties, the department shall designate a mediator for the parties.
The function of the mediator is to encourage a voluntary settlement among the parties. The mediator may not compel a settlement. The mediator shall schedule meetings of the parties, direct the parties to prepare for the meetings, attempt to achieve a mediated resolution to the issues among the parties and, if the parties request, assist the parties in preparing a written agreement. All mediation meetings shall be held in this state and be conducted under the laws of this state.
Effect of mediation.
The parties may at any time withdraw from mediation. The parties have full responsibility for reaching and enforcing any agreement among them. A mediation agreement may include an agreement for the payment of property taxes, special assessments that have been settled in full by the county under s. 74.29
, special charges or special taxes assessed against agricultural property that are subject to a tax certificate issued under s. 74.57
in installments, as long as the agreement is not inconsistent with county board policy. After the expiration of the time period specified in the suspension order under sub. (2m)
, the parties may no longer participate in the mediation process regarding the same subject matter under this section unless the parties and the mediator agree to continue the mediation.