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Great Lakes Midwest Regional Food Business Center

Midwest Great Lakes Regional Food Business Centers

FFI Role: Key Partner, Wisconsin State Lead

Project Lead: Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

Increasing Success of Small to Mid-sized Food and Farm Businesses Through Statewide Coordination, Technical Assistance and Capacity Building  

The Food Finance Institute represents the state of Wisconsin in this four-state partnership. In this role we will provide coordination support for the state, represent our state in broader Regional Food Business Center planning meetings, and work with stakeholders to define a technical assistance plan for our state.  In addition, we will be the conduit for outreach and promotion of business builder awards (up to $100,000 and defined as the capacity building portion of this work) once the process is defined and businesses are able to apply.  

To learn more and stay updated on the RFBC, email Sarah Larson, FFI Director.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

Using Comprehensive Financial Technical Assistance to Increase Capital Infusion for Beginning Farmers 

This project seeks to get more capital moving to small and medium sized beginning farmers and ranchers by using FFI’s financial technical assistance (TA), training, and coaching program to lower the risk of farm investments and to increase beginning farmer financial viability. 

Local Food Promotion Program

Local Food Promotion Program

Building Financial Resilience in Pivoting Food Hubs Through Digital and In-person Financial Management Training and National Consultant Interventions 

The goal of this project is to mobilize a national effort to bring the financial knowledge, skills, and tools that food hub managers and consultants need to quickly pivot and build financially resilient hubs. USDA sponsored programming includes Part 3 Food Hub Boot Camp and Level 3 Consultant Training as well as consultant network support.

Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program

Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program

Innovative Strategies for Securing BIPOC Farmland Access and Tenure in the Upper Midwest 

The goal of this Regional Land Access Tier project is to combine capital source innovation with community-specific technical assistance to both keep disadvantaged farmland owners on their land and help new disadvantaged farmers become landowners for the first time. To do this, FFI will work with three innovative organizations in our region that are experimenting with new capital sources and technical assistance (TA) programs that are designed to address these problems.

Key Project Partners: Black Oaks Center, Renewing the Countryside, and Farmland Conservation Partners

Bringing the Naturally Network to Wisconsin

FFI seeks to launch and shape a Naturally Network in Wisconsin

FFI is in the application process to bring a Naturally chapter to Wisconsin. This presents a great opportunity to both align and connect the food and beverage ecosystem in Wisconsin and elevate Wisconsin innovation on national platforms.

We invite you to join the conversation or become a founding voice of this chapter by attending our upcoming listening sessions on this topic. Please click on the links below to register for one of our two listening sessions:

To further follow and support these efforts, please connect with us through our Bring the Naturally Network to Wisconsin LinkedIn page.

The Naturally Network’s mission is to harness, accelerate and elevate the power and impact of conscious business practices in the natural and organic products ecosystem through community-based programming, networking, influence and collaboration. Learn more here.