Auction Location and Contact Information

View a map of Wisconsin produce auctions
Fennimore Produce Auction

Highway T, Fennimore, WI, Grant Co.
Number of farmers growing for auction: 75 from surrounding counties
Auction Manager: David Parr
Phone: 608-558-0471
Delivery: Yes (delivery is also available to other areas)
Grading standards: USDA grading

Growers Produce Auction

Highway D, Cashton, WI, Vernon Co.
Number of farmers growing for auction: 125+ from surrounding counties
Auction Manager: Brian Nelson
Phone: 608-654-7880
Delivery: Yes (delivery is also available to other areas)
Grading standards: USDA grading
Website

Tri-County Produce Auction Co-op

Highway H, Dalton, WI, Green Lake Co.
Number of farmers growing for auction: 200+ from surrounding counties
Order Buyer: Marty Griepentag
Phone: (608) 617-9924
Email: marty@hameleauctions.com
Delivery: Limited, inquire with the Order Buyer
Grading standards: USDA grading
Tri-County Produce Auction Brochure

Buyer Testimony

"As a chef, I am extremely selective about the product I purchase for my clients, and I must say that it only took several seconds of looking over the product, and I was sold. Typically, I purchase through a regional distributor, and quite often through the Dane County Farmer’s market, but in much smaller quantities. By using the produce auction, I am able to source much larger volumes of certified organic product at wholesale prices – this was never an opportunity for us before the visit."

Craig Summers
Executive Chef, Hilton of Madison

"In July, a group of buyers went to the auction on a field trip. We met with farmers and the management, some of the Board members and watched the auction. Within minutes I became aware of just how fantastic everything that I saw was. The vegetables were huge, colorful, full of aroma and the prices excellent, lower than what I was paying to traditional vendors, of much better quality and picked the same day fresh. Because of our experience, we will be returning."

Barb Kampmeir
Consolidated Food Services, Verona, WI

"Our experience has been excellent. We sourced everything from bedding plants to fruit and produce, and in the fall purchased gourds and pumpkins to use in some of our patient activities. I found the prices to be excellent, communication and delivery was very reliable, and the product was high quality. Because of this experience, we are happy to say we will be returning."

Claire Nagel
Food Service Director, Mendota Mental Health Institute

Produce Auctions

 

IFM has found the auction model to be successful for buyers for a number of reasons:

 

  • Auctions offer competitive wholesale pricing
  • Auctions have large volumes of diverse products available at one sales outlet because they aggregate the product of up to 200 growers
  • You do not need to attend the auction to buy, you can purchase through the Order Buyer
  • Auctions use USDA grade standards
  • Auctions sell both local and organic product
  • Auctions are supported by dedicated UW-Extension Agricultural Agents who provide training and support in food safety and product handling
  • Inquire with the Auction Manager or Order Buyer about delivery
  • Inquire with the Auction Manager or Order Buyer about liability insurance

How to Buy

If you are ready to try a few products, purchase for an event, or even source all of your seasonal produce there are two different ways to purchase through auction.

  1. Buying at Auction
    Auctions are regularly held 2-3 days per week, from May through October, and are open to the public. Auctions allow buyers the opportunity to inspect and purchase produce first hand. At the beginning of each auction, buyers receive a buyer number and use this to bid on the products they would like to buy. All purchases auction day are paid for that day and all purchases are removed from the auction house the same day. The buyer is typically responsible for transportation/delivery of their purchased items. Ask the Order Buyer or Auction Manager about payment options.
  2. Order-Buyer Program
    Buyers who cannot attend auctions themselves have the opportunity to purchase produce from the auction through the Order-Buyer Program. The Order-Buyer will work closely with you to coordinate your order and is always there to answer any questions you may have, or provide you with additional product information. Via phone, fax, or email, the buyer will communicate the variety, quantity and price ceiling for each product to the auction’s Order-Buyer who will then bid on behalf of the institutional buyer. Delivery service is not available in all areas. Ask the Order Buyer or Auction Manager about payment options.

Frequently Asked Questions about Auctions

How do prices compare with other wholesale vendors?

Auctions are wholesale, and typically match or beat conventional vendor prices. Contact the auction nearest you for a list of average prices from the previous season.

Do they sell certified organic?

Yes, the auctions have certified organic. Certified organic prices are generally 25% higher than non-organic.

What are the cooling standards?

All produce is picked 24-48 hours fresh to auction time (except melons, onions and potatoes, which are harvested within 48 hours). Between being picked and being sold at auction, produce is not refrigerated.

What are my payment options?

Cash or check. Ask the Order Buyer about credit card payment, billing, and net 30.

Do they deliver?

Some auctions offer delivery. Contact the order buyer.

How do I place an order?

Contact the auction manager to set up your account and establish your ordering process.

What grading standards do the auctions use?

USDA grading standards.

What quality standards do they use?

On-going education regarding proper handling, harvesting and produce quality is provided to growers through knowledgeable experts, and throughout the year. In addition, auctions perform regular quality checks on produce that is sold through the cooperative to assure quality standards are being met.

Each box or container is labeled, and includes the seller number for the grower who provided the container contents. The seller number allows the auction to track the origin of the produce, and to address any quality concerns with the appropriate grower.

What type of packaging do they use?

Uniform boxes and containers.

How fresh is the produce?

All produce is picked 24-48 hours fresh to auction time (except melons, onions and potatoes, which are harvested within 48 hours).

How local is the produce?

All produce is grown within 100 miles of where the auction is located.

Which varieties of fruit and produce do the auctions offer?

Items are offered at auction as they become available. A complete list of varieties can be obtained by contacting your local auction. Standard items include: apples, broccoli, cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, muskmelon, onions, potatoes, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini.