MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is unveiling the first round of funding opportunities under its new Assisting Specialty Crops Exports initiative.

During a press conference at UW-Stout today the USDA announced a stipend of $20 million from a $100 million dollar program, which will go toward five different projects.

Randy Romanski, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said this funding will be a great help.

“Wisconsin grows a lot of cranberries. Or growers produce 60% of all the cranberries in the United States and a lot of those cranberries get exported. So we come here to look at the packaging that’s going to go about with like helping to move those products around the world and they actually have a project that takes the leftovers of the pumice from cranberries once they’re processed and turns it into packaging. So it’s this kind of full circle experience that you can have happen right here in Wisconsin,” he said.

Other focus areas for funding include information on foreign market requirements and harmonizing maximum residue level import requirements in multiple regions.



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