An investment was recently made to the dairy industry—a $2.5 million investment, in fact. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently awarded 31 Dairy Business Builder grants to 31 companies and cooperatives.
“Amid robust competition from across the Midwest, these projects stood out for their ambitious, distinctive approaches to adding value from farm to vat. We’re thrilled to support dairy innovation today and in the future,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director.
The Dairy Business Builder grant program aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs, and processors in the Midwest to pursue innovative projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation, and efforts to market dairy products for export.
According to the release, reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each were awarded following a competitive review process.
“After receiving more than 100 applications from across the 11-state DBIA region, we are delighted to be able to support 31 small dairy businesses with awards. Almost all are first-time winners, and these funds will help them grow and innovate,” added CDR Director John Lucey.
Since its inception, the DBIA has administered approximately $7 million in grants to 88 dairy businesses within its 11-state service area. Supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, DBIA’s program also offers technical assistance and education to dairy farmers and processors in the region.
For a list of the cooperatives and companies that received the grants, click here.
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