Cultivating Successful Wine and Cider-Making Enterprises in the NC Region
PI: Miller, M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Co-PIs: Cochran, D. (Iowa State University) and Steele, J. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Project Abstract: Burgeoning wine and cider industries in the North Central Region offer significant opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs and rural communities. They can capture market share, draw in recreational traffic to other local businesses, and incentivize sustainable farming practices by connecting consumers to the land. For these industries to continue to grow and thrive, producers will need ample educational support that is reinforced with evidence-based research. For states where the concentration of producers is significant but not yet sufficient to justify a large and comprehensive program, it makes sense for land grant universities to collaborate. The goal of this project is to identify a framework for educational support that meets the needs of growers and producers of wine and cider through a collaborative process involving the University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the Iowa State University Department of Horticulture and the University of Wisconsin Department of Food Science. Specifically, we intend to develop a strong proposal for a National Institute of Food and Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant that will enable us to implement the framework that we identify. In addition to drafting the grant, the primary activities funded through the project will include a preliminary brainstorming session, a producer survey and needs assessment, and a grant-planning workshop so that we garner input and invite relevant stakeholders to take part in the grant-planning process.