MADISON, WIS. – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association announced new grant funds are available to Wisconsin dairy companies looking to export and increase their international sales.

Per WCMA, successful applicants will receive reimbursement grants for as much as $15,000. The grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

The funds can be used to improve a dairy processor’s international presence via social media and marketing campaigns, shipping and logistics costs for buyer samples, and costs that come with in-store demonstrations, retail sampling and merchandising.

WCMA shared that applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all the spaces are filled, and noted applicants don’t have to be WCMA members.

Once selected to receive grant funding, companies are required to use WCMA’s free dairy export consultative services, which are provided by MCT Dairies and include customized coaching covering product lines, potential global customers, export plans and identifying areas for improvement.

Two export workshops also will be offered by WCMA. A spring session will cover strategies and resources for international trade shows, while a fall workshop will address marketing and branding dairy products in foreign markets.

More details about the grants, as well as a one-page application, are available online at the WCMA website

Said WCMA executive director John Umhoefer: “Wisconsin’s dairy processors are poised and ready for exponential growth overseas. This investment will enable WCMA to continue to expand our broad array of resources to help Wisconsin’s dairy manufacturers share their story with more international consumers.”

This past December, WCMA introduced another export effort with funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Collaborative Market Access Grants were awarded to Carr Valley Cheese, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Masters Gallery Foods, Renard’s Cheese and Sartori Company. Those funds will offset overseas trade show expenses.