Wisconsin ranks third in the nation for farmer's markets, with over 200 held in communities around the state. Starting next spring, a $29,600 grant from the state Ag department will help expand that market, by allowing people to pre-order produce online.
State Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen says the statewide listing system will allow regular customers and commercial buyers to know in real time what's available at markets across Wisconsin. They'll also be able to order what they want ahead of time, and then pick it up at the market.
Nilsestuen says the system will also help producers know what to bring with them to market. He says many producers end up with spoiled product at the end of the day that didn't sell. By being able to anticipate demand ahead of time, he says they can keep their products from being wasted.
Nilsestuen says farmers markets are a growth industry in Wisconsin. For every dollar spent at a market, $3 returns to the community where it's located.