After overcoming the plethora of challenges set in place by the ongoing pandemic, welcomed news has made its way to those across the dairy industry, as Congress approved a $22 million spending package in support of Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII). The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is celebrating the news and is cheering U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin for her role in helping to champion and secure the funding, which is increased $2 million from the previous year.
“Senator Baldwin first secured support for the creation of the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and she has fought for every dollar, every year since, to maximize its impact,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “We are deeply grateful for Sen. Baldwin’s focus on strengthening the dairy industry from farm to vat, and beyond.”
The WCMA leads one of three regional DBII centers in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to a press release. The joint project is referred to as the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance and provides grants to dairy farmers and processors across Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The program also offers free workshops and consultative services in order to boost growth across the dairy industry.
“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy, but our dairy industry continues to face enormously challenging times during this global pandemic,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s critical that farmers, cheesemakers, and dairy processors have the tools to innovate and develop new, Made-in-Wisconsin dairy products to build a brighter future for our dairy farms and drive our rural economy forward.”
With the new round of funding, organizations like the WCMA and other dairy innovators will be able to continue to spur growth and advancement across the industry.
“Now more than ever, the dairy industry needs targeted investments to boost the creation and marketing of value-added dairy products,” continued Umhoefer. “With additional federal support, we will be able to guide and support more projects to increase the profitability of family farms and the stability of the whole supply chain.”
What new innovations and growth will stem from this new funding? Follow Deli Market News as we continue to bring you answers from across the dairy industry.