The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, announced the 38 companies and cooperatives that were selected to receive Dairy Business Builder grants totaling $1.7 million.

The Dairy Business Builder grant program aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in the Upper Midwest to pursue innovative projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation and efforts to market dairy products for export, WCMA and CDR said. Reimbursement grants of up to $50,000 each are awarded following a competitive review process.

“A strong and successful dairy industry depends in part on a robust, diverse community of individual dairy businesses. These grants will support the continued growth of these enterprises and the overall health of our dairy industry,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of Madison, Wis.-based WCMA.

“In these challenging times, these DBIA grants are even more important to creating a vibrant dairy industry as they support the growth of farmstead businesses and allow our small cheese and dairy plants to expand and diversify,” said CDR Director John Lucey.

According to WCMA and CDR, the companies and cooperatives receiving Dairy Business Builder Grants include:

  • Alpinage Cheese LLC, Oak Creek, Wis.
  • Berrybrook Organics LLC, Marion, S.D.
  • CannonBelles Cheese, Cannon Falls, Minn.
  • Cinnamon Ridge Inc., Donahue, Iowa.
  • Concept Processing, Melrose, Minn.
  • Country View Dairy, Hawkeye, Iowa.
  • Crimson Kitchen and Gardens, Watertown, Wis.
  • DARI LLC, Clinton, Wis.
  • Decatur Dairy, Brodhead, Wis.
  • Deerland Dairy, Freeport, Ill.
  • Driftless Gold, Highland, Wis.
  • Farm Life Creamery LLC, Ethan, S.D.
  • Fromage Spa LLC, Green Bay, Wis.
  • Frozen Innovations LLC, Lake Forest, Ill.
  • Hansen’s Sugar Shack LLC, Marshfield, Wis.
  • Hightail, – Plainfield, Iowa.
  • Hill Valley Dairy LLC, East Troy, Wis.
  • Knowlton House Distillery, Junction City, Wis.
  • Landmark Creamery LLC, Belleville, Wis.
  • Maple-Oak Farm, Florence, Wis.
  • Marieke Marketing LLC/Holland’s Family Cheese LLC, Thorp, Wis.
  • Metz’s Hart-Land Creamery, Rushford, Minn.
  • Milk Specialties Global, Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • Ms. J and Company, Monroe, Wis.
  • North Sky Farm, Harvard, Ill.
  • Oxheart Farm LLC, Hager City, Wis.
  • Pine River Pre-Pack Inc., Newton, Wis.
  • Prairie Homestead Creamery, Cottonwood, Minn.
  • Caves of Faribault/Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Faribault, Minn.
  • Prairie Sky Ranch, Soldiers Grove, Wis.
  • Radiance Dairy, Fairfield, Iowa.
  • Renard’s Cheese Store LLC, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
  • Rolling Lawns Farm, Greenville, Ill.
  • Silo View Creamery LLC, Union Grove, Wis.
  • Specialty Cheese Co. Inc., Reeseville, Wis.
  • Stensland Creamery LLC, Larchwood, Iowa.
  • Two Guernsey Girls Creamery LLC, Freedom, Wis.
  • Widmer’s Cheese Cellars Inc., Theresa, Wis.

The DBIA is supported by USDA. Including the awards listed above, since its inception as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, the DBIA has administered approximately $3.6 million in grants to 79 dairy businesses in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, WCMA and CDR said. The program also offers technical assistance and education to dairy farmers and processors in the region.