WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) allocated $23 million for the continued federal funding of Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.

Grant funds through the program support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements and technical assistance services.

“The Dairy Business Innovative Initiatives use their on-the-ground knowledge and their ability to target funding where it will have the most regional and local impacts to make significant improvements to the US dairy supply chain,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs with USDA. “This program is a great example of USDA’s efforts to build capacity from the bottom up and the middle out by supporting small and mid-sized dairy operations.”

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), which is run by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR), is one of the four programs in the US supported through the USDA grant funds.

“The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance has created valuable opportunities for Midwestern dairy businesses to thrive,” said John Umhoefer, executive director for WCMA. “We’re pleased to continue that important work, and we thank US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) for her impactful leadership and support of the dairy industry.”

DBIA’s product research and development, technical assistance, education, and grants help dairy farmers and processors in its 11-state coverage area: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. DBIA was created in 2018 as part of the federal Farm Bill.

USDA will administer the new funding to the four existing programs. DBIA shared that it will be eligible for approximately $7 million.

More details on the grants and applications are available online through the USDA and WCMA.