FRESNO, CALIF. – The Pacific Coast Coalition - Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII) allocated $5.87 million in grant funds to dairy processing companies operating in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico.

PCC-DBII, which is hosted by California State University, Fresno, said the 28 grant winners will use the funds to strengthen the region’s food systems and bolster sustainability efforts.

The largest grant went to Rosa Brothers Milk Company, Hanford, Calif., which PCC-DBII said earned almost $1 million to go toward purchasing ice cream equipment that will allow the company to meet demands, produce novelty items, provide healthy alternatives and expand into the pet food market with Greek-style frozen yogurt treats.

Pacific Cheese Co., Petit Pot and Cheese Bits each received a $500,000 grant. Reno, Nev.-based Pacific Cheese plans to acquire an upgraded cheese cuber that the company expects to nearly triple its production for a growing market. Petit Pot, Emeryville, Calif., is launching a more affordable paper cup two-pack that it said doesn’t compromise on quality. Riverbank, Calif.-based Cheese Bits is using automation to reduce the total cost of the raw materials that go into its production, as well as adding jobs and expanding into new markets.

, PCC-DBII said $4.78 million worth of grant funds will go toward equipment-related investments for dairy processors, with all grants supporting dairy industry innovations and economics.

Among the nearly 30 companies winning grants, plans include not only equipment upgrades, but also streamlining processes, optimizing packaging and generating new market growth.

PCC-DBII project director Carmen Licon-Cano said grant winners displayed passion and initiative to bolster the dairy industry on the West Coast, as well as a desire to “forge bonds between food producers/processors and consumers.”

Added Licon-Cano: “Recipients range from adding a creamery location where people can watch cheese being made on a small scale to transitioning a production line with automation, allowing employees to free up for other important tasks, like creating new value-added dairy products. All projects are exciting, allowing dairy processors to make nutritious, delicious dairy products available locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Susan Pheasant, director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture at Fresno State, said PCC-DBII is honored to steward the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) dairy innovation funding for the initiative.

The collaboration also includes Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chapman University, Chico State, Oregon State University, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, UC Davis, Washington State University, New Mexico State University and the California Dairy Innovation Center.

With the PCC-DBII’s fourth round of grant funding now complete, the initiative has brought close to $10.7 million in USDA AMS grants to dairy businesses for innovation investments and sustainable practices.

PCC-DBII grant recipients


Achadinha Cheese Company

Alec's Ice Cream

Central Coast Creamery


Cheese Trail


Nicasio Valley Cheese

Petit Pot

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

Schoch Family Farmstead   

Stepladder Creamery

Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese Company

Rosa Brothers Milk Company

Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery

Vintage Cheese Company


Lady-Lane Farm

Rising Sun Dairy  

Ruby Jewel Company

The Salty Goat  

Tin Willows Sheep Dairy & Ranch


Andersen Dairy Inc.

Columbia Community Creamery

Fantello Farmstead Creamery

Steensma Creamery  


Venison Valley Farm & Creamery


Pacific Cheese

New Mexico

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