Commodity Boards / Agricultural Marketing Boards

Commodity Boards (also referred to as agricultural marketing boards) at the state and national level offer funding opportunities for research and/or outreach projects.

Wisconsin commodity boards that offer regular funding opportunities are below.

Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board

+WI Corn Promotion Board Call for Proposals - This opportunity is currently closed

Proposals must be routed via WISPER and are due to the WI Corn Promotion Board by January 10, 2020. Please contact Michell Sass ahead of the deadline if you intend to submit. All proposals will be submitted to the Sponsor as a group by CALS.

The Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board (WCPB), with the help of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association (WCGA), is seeking proposals for the Grow-Discover Research Program to fund projects that meet research criteria that will add value to the corn industry. Research is important in advancing technology, increasing profitability, improving environmental practices and developing new markets and uses for Wisconsin corn farmers.

Wisconsin Corn serves the state’s corn growers through the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board (WCPB) and Wisconsin Corn Growers Association (WCGA). The WCPB utilizes checkoff funds to develop and defend markets, fund research and provide education
about corn and corn products. WCGA is a united, grassroots-driven member organization representing growers from across Wisconsin on important state and national agricultural issues in an effort to increase member profitability and opportunity. For more information, visit

See the WCPB Word document or WCPB pdf for the full RFP including the WCPB’s Areas of Interest, eligibility and proposal guidelines. Applications must include the WCPB Proposal Cover Page and Project Budget templates.

For further information on Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board programs, contact Nicole Wagner by phone (262-372-3289) or by email ( For questions with regard to the CALS submission process, please contact Michell Sass at 608-265-9534 or

Wisconsin Cranberry Board

+WI Cranberry Board Calls for Proposals - This opportunity is currently closed

Preliminary proposals (a project that isn’t currently funded) are due to the Sponsor by January 6, 2020. Due to the overlap with the holidays, please contact Michell Sass ahead of the deadline if you intend to submit a Preliminary proposal.  All Preliminary proposals will be submitted to the Sponsor as a group by CALS.

Final proposals and progress reports due to CALS February 14, 2020

The Wisconsin Cranberry Board (WCB) has issued its annual calls for proposals for Education and Promotion projects and Crop Research projects.  The information below is relevant to proposals for continuing funding as well as preliminary proposals invited to submit full/final applications.

Please review the Calls for instructions with regard to preliminary proposals, final proposals, and progress reports.

For further information on Wisconsin Cranberry Board, Inc. programs, contact Tom Lochner at the WCB office at 715-423-2070. For questions with regard to the CALS submission process, please contact Michell Sass at 608-265-9534 or

Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board

+WI Soybean Marketing Board Call for Proposals - New proposals due to CALS by Friday, December 11, 2020

Proposals must be routed via WISPER to the CALS Research Division by Friday, December 11, 2020. Proposals will be hand carried as a group to the Sponsor.

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) is seeking project proposals that are supportive of the WSMB strategic mission statement. WSMB is funded through a checkoff assessment of 0.5% of the net market price of Wisconsin grown soybeans.

The WSMB invites a variety of proposals to address issues from many different disciplines. WSMB will undoubtedly continue to fund many of the traditional programs that are supportive of WSMB’s mission. The WSMB looks forward to working with all interested parties in the development of projects and programs that support the needs of Wisconsin’s soybean farmers.

Find downloadable details with regard to the application process, proposal cover sheet and project budget forms here: 2021 WSMB request for proposals. Fillable forms must be used and can be downloaded here: 2021 WSMB fillable forms.

Note that all proposals should be routed to the CALS Research Division via WISPER and are due to CALS by Friday, December 11, 2020.

If there are any questions, please contact Bob Karls by phone (608) 274-7522 or by email or Michell Sass at (608) 265-9534;

Midwest Food Products Association

+Midwest Food Products Association Call for Proposals - This opportunity is currently closed

This opportunity is currently closed.  Please check back in early 2021 for more information.

The Midwest Food Products Association (MWFPA) is seeking research project proposals that are supportive of the suggested topics and other topics that are important for the Midwest vegetable processing industry.

Refer to the MWFPA 2019 Request for Proposals for the funding announcement, a list of suggested topics, to obtain the application form, and for additional information about the application process.

Proposals should be routed to the CALS Research Division via WISPER no later than March 14, 2019.

Proposals will be submitted as a group to the MWFPA on the due date of March 15th.

Direct any questions to Jason Culotta at the MWFPA by phone at (608) 255-9946 or via email at

For proposal processing questions contact Michell Sass in the CALS Research Division via phone at (608) 265-9534 or via email at

Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council

+WI Fertilizer Research Council Call for Proposals - The opportunity is currently closed

New proposals due to CALS by October 26, 2020. New proposals will be submitted as a group to the Sponsor.

Continuing proposals due to the FRC Coordinator by January 8, 2021.

2020 Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Program Request for Proposals

2020 Information for Researchers
2020 WFRP Request for Proposals
2020 WFRP Award Policy

2020 WFRP New Proposal Title Page
2020 WFRP New Proposal Budget Form

General Information
The Fertilizer Research Program is funded by a tonnage assessment on fertilizer and soil amendments sold in the state and administered by the Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council (WFRC). The seven-member WFRC is comprised of representatives from farming, the agricultural chemicals industry, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The WFRC mission is:
To fund research and other designated activities to provide a scientific basis for and promote the philosophy that the fertilizer industry supports economically and environmentally sound recommendations, practices and technologies on fertilizer material usage by the end user.

As directed by State Statutes [Sec. 94.64 (8m)], the program funds applied soil fertility, soil management or plant nutrition research as these topics relate to the usage of fertilizers or their impacts on surface or groundwater in Wisconsin.

The program typically funds 3-5 proposals that range from $10,000-45,000 annually.
Proposals requesting over $50,000 annually are unlikely to be funded.

Research Criteria – Please read carefully
Research proposals must address one or more of the following topics:
• Soil management
• Soil fertility
• Plant nutrition
• Surface or groundwater problems possibly related to fertilizer usage. **of particular interest is nitrate
loss to groundwater in sandy soils**
Proposals that do not clearly address a problem in these areas will not be considered for funding.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:
• Topic originality
• Topic relevance
• Goal feasibility
• Research methodology
• Outreach plan

Proposals will have an increased chance of funding if:
• There is demonstrated support from industry, commodity or another stakeholder group
• The research has wide applicability to the Wisconsin crop producing and fertilizer industry

Eligibility and Funding Details
•Only Principal Investigators from the UW System are eligible to apply.
•Proposal funding will begin in April is provided on a calendar year basis (April 1-March 31) with potential for annual renewal for up to two additional years. Funds awarded in response to this call will be available April 1, 2021. A one-two month delay may occur when transferring funds to campuses other than UW-Madison.
•Award continuation is given on an annual basis pending evidence of progress and availability of funds.
•Funding priority is given to successful continuing projects.
•Indirect costs are not allowed.
•There is no cost-sharing requirement.

Application Process
All necessary proposal documents can be downloaded from
New Research Proposals: UW-Madison applicants: Submit proposals to CALS via WISPER by October 26, 2020.
•Proposals not fitting the format or requirements will be returned if ample time remains to make revisions.
•If you are unsure whether your research topic fits the mission of the program, please contact the Program Coordinator. There is no limit to the number of new proposals submitted or funded per individual researcher.
•Demonstrated support, if available, should be documented in the proposal submission.
•Using the URL at top of page, please review the online document “Award Terms and Policies”.

Continuing Research Proposals: Submit the progress report and modified scope of work (if necessary) to the FRC coordinator by January 8, 2021. Funds may be withheld for continuing projects if reporting requirements are not met.

FRC Programmatic questions should be directed to the Geoff Siemering (, 608-262-9969).
Proposal-related questions should be directed to Michell Sass, CALS Research Division (, 608-265-9534).

Wisconsin Potato Industry Board

+Wisconsin Potato Industry Board - WPVGA Potato Research Call for Base and Competitive Proposals - This opportunity is currently closed

Base and Competitive proposals due to CALS by October 2. 2020

Proposals must be routed via WISPER to the CALS Research Division by Friday, October 2, 2020. Proposals will be submitted as a group to the Sponsor.

The WI Potato Industry Board (WPIB), in concert with the WI Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), provides base and competitive funding opportunities on an annual basis. The WPVGA Research Committee sets the research priorities.

Request for Proposals for 2021 WPVGA Potato Research pdf includes the full RFP including the 2021 research priorities.

WPVGA Research Proposal cover sheet template docx.

Specifications for base funding potato research for crop year 2021 are as follows:

Base Funding Proposals (BFPs):

  • Production (Wang)
  • Seed  Certification  (Rioux)
  • Weed Management (Colquhoun)
  • Disease Management (Gevens)
  • Insect Management (Groves)
  • Breeding (Endelman)
  • Fertility Management (Ruark)

BFPs in the amount of $25,000 should include a description of the ongoing disciplinary potato research, new techniques/sciences applied to the base program and linkages to the WPVGA/WWF/UW Collaboration.

BFPs must include a completed Current & Pending Support form. Use the suggested USDA-NIFA template. USDA-NIFA Current & Pending Support.doc

Competitive Grant Proposals (CGPs):

The WPVGA will be accepting competitive grant proposals for innovative  potato  research  with a special emphasis on water related topics.  Grants should  take into account  critical  areas of concern  to the Wisconsin potato industry. Please see the RFP with more information on the research priorities that have been established. Proposals should not exceed  $15,000. The Wisconsin Research Proposal cover sheet should be used for grower review purposes.

If there are any questions, please contact Karen Rasmussen by phone (715) 623-7683 or by email or Michell Sass at (608) 265-9534;

State of Wisconsin Commodity Boards

For general information about agricultural marketing boards in the state of Wisconsin refer to the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WI DATCP).

+WI DATCP Specialty Crop Block Grants - This opportunity is currently closed

2020 WI Specialty Crop Block Grant Request for Proposals
2020 WI Specialty Crop Block Grant Application Cover Sheet & Application Form

The following information was provided in a press release from the agency:

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. Applications are due to DATCP by March 30, 2020.

Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education or market development. Qualified projects are those meant to benefit the industry as a whole as opposed to benefiting one individual, farm or company. DATCP will use a competitive review process to select the most qualified projects and will submit Wisconsin’s state plan to the USDA for approval and funding.

Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, herbs and more. Find a full list of eligible crops and more information about the program online at

Non-profits, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural organizations are encouraged to apply. Applications may involve collaborations or partnerships between entities. This grant does not fund projects to solely benefit private entities on their private property. Projects must benefit a sector of Wisconsin’s specialty crop industries.

Grant funds will be awarded for projects up to three years in duration. Typical projects are awarded between $10,000 and $100,000. In anticipation of receiving funding, project contracts and work would begin in the fall.

Eligible project expenses include compensation for personnel, consultant services, materials and supplies, and miscellaneous costs.

Optional grant-writing workshops scheduled

  • Optional grant-writing workshops will be held for interested applicants. To find out more about
    workshop dates, locations, and times or to register for the free workshops, contact Juli Speck at or 608-224-5134.

Requests for Proposals information and application materials are can also be found online at

Regional Commodity Funding Opportunities

Funding information provided by regional commodity groups can be found below.

+North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) - This opportunity is currently closed

North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) Request for Research Proposals for 2019/2020 (FY20) Funding

Proposals are due May 24, 2019.

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) combines soybean check-off funds from its 12- member states to sponsor basic and applied research, Extension and outreach, and communications to increase soybean profitability and enhance yield, while maintaining or improving soybean composition, through genetic improvement, agronomics and biotic and abiotic stress mitigation for soybean maturity groups 0 – IV.

The NCSRP is seeking collaborative multi-state soybean research project renewal requests and new proposals for funding to begin on October 1, 2019.  The NCSRP Board will fund research projects that address their goals to increase soybean grower productivity and profitability while improving environmental stewardship.  The NCSRP will fund both applied and basic research, and the communication of research results, to provide short- and long-term practical benefit to Midwestern soybean producers.

Please see the following information for additional details about this opportunity:

Proposals are submitted by providing an electronic copy in Microsoft Word format and 2 original hard copies of the completed proposal to Sue Heath at by May 24, 2019.  Questions can be addressed to Dr. Ed Anderson, telephone (515) 334-1059 or email at

National Commodity Boards

For general information about national commodity boards, see USDA-AMS Research and Promotion Programs.