MADISON, WISCONSIN, US — Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin in late February announced a $4.9 million Harbor Assistance Program grant to support the construction of a new agricultural commodity bulk vessel transload facility at Port Milwaukee, which is a port in the city of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The $31.3 million transload facility initially will be used for the export of dried distillers’ grain, but eventually will be used to handle other bulk grains, including soybeans, corn and wheat.

The facility will be the first of its kind on the Great Lakes, the governor’s office said.

“The diversity of Wisconsin’s agriculture industry is our strength, and part of our international appeal,” Evers said. “Our state’s agribusinesses rely on finding markets for the high-quality products our farmers produce. This grant connects the dots between our agricultural producers, state agencies, and businesses like DeLong that serve our agriculture community.”

Randy Romanski, interim secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said the new ag commodity bulk vessel transload facility will help move agricultural products to market more efficiently.

“Most importantly it connects us to international markets, allowing for the transport of greater quantities and the ability to serve new customers,” he added.

The facility also received a $15.9 million grant from the US Maritime Administration and $4.3 million in additional funding from Port Milwaukee. In 2019, combined tonnage at Port Milwaukee’s public and private facilities was up 11% from 2018, totaling over 2.6 million tons handled.