MADISON, WIS. – Dairy farmers, manufacturers and processors in 11 states soon will be able to apply for an upcoming round of reimbursement grants through the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance.

The Dairy Business Builder grants are designed to help small- to medium-sized operations diversify on-farm activities, create value-added products, enhance dairy byproducts and create or enhance export programs.

The DBIA, which will begin accepting applications for the next round in September, will administer grants of up to $100,000 each to successful applicants within its service area, which now covers 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The DBIA is a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“The Dairy Business Builder grant program offers targeted investments that help dairy entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level,” said WCMA executive director John Umhoefer. “We’re pleased to offer them this meaningful support, and we look forward to seeing their creative ideas this fall.”

Added CDR director John Lucey: “The Dairy Business Builder program will help individual businesses like farmsteads and small cheesemakers as they invest in innovations and other opportunities to grow their operations.”

The DBIA will post application materials for the next round of grants on its website, beginning on Sept. 19. Additionally, the DBIA will invite applicants to view an informational webinar slated for September. Applications will be due by Nov. 10, and the DBIA will notify successful applicants by Dec. 15. 

Funding from the US Department of Agriculture supports the DBIA, which was created in 2018 as part of the federal Farm Bill. Thus far, the DBIA, which also offers technical assistance, has been able to award more than $3.7 million in grants to dairy farms and businesses.