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 today announced the 26 companies and cooperatives that have been selected to receive Dairy Business Builder grants totaling $2.3 million.
This year’s awardees hail from all 11 states served by DBIA. Eighteen of the 26 businesses are receiving a DBIA grant for the first time, and 12 are farmsteads.
The Alliance is one of four Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives across the country. The creation of the nationwide program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and Wisconsin’s inclusion, were championed by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
“Dairy businesses are a key part of our state’s identity and major drivers of our state’s economy, and I am thrilled that these innovative businesses are continuing that legacy,” said Sen. Baldwin. “It is critical that our cheesemakers, farmers, and dairy processors have the tools they need to develop new dairy products and adapt to market changes, and I am so proud to help provide those resources so they can accomplish that and move our Made in Wisconsin economy forward.”
DBIA’s Dairy Business Builder grant program aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs, and processors to pursue innovative projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation, and efforts to market dairy products for export. Reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each are awarded following a competitive review process.
“These grants have become an important factor in helping support the growth of our dairy businesses in our region as they continue to innovate by creating new products or expanding their markets,” said CDR Director John Lucey.
“This group of projects showcases the innovative spirit and drive of our dairy industry. We’re pleased to help these businesses, and the industry as a whole, continue to grow and thrive,” said WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer.
Companies and cooperatives receiving Dairy Business Builder Grants are:
· Beauty View Dairy Products – Wahoo, Nebraska
· Berning Acres – East Dubuque, Illinois
· BoBell Cheese Company – Burbank, Ohio
· Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin – Darlington, Wisconsin
· Concept Processing – Melrose, Minnesota
· Dairy Distillery Alliance – Novi, Michigan
· DARI – Clinton, Wisconsin
· Eau Galle Cheese Factory – Durand, Wisconsin
· Farm Life Creamery – Ethan, South Dakota
· Farm Stapels – Cedar Grove, Wisconsin
· Hastings Creamery – Hastings, Minnesota
· Hildebrand Farms Dairy – Junction City, Kansas
· Hill Valley Dairy – East Troy, Wisconsin
· Landmark Creamery – Belleville, Wisconsin
· Marieke Gouda – Thorp, Wisconsin
· Rolling Hills Dairy Producers Co-op – Monroe, Wisconsin
· Rosewood Dairy – Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
· Royal Guernsey Creamery – Columbus, Wisconsin
· Sartori Cheese – Plymouth, Wisconsin
· Schulte Dairy – Norway, Iowa
· SCREAM – Fairfield, Iowa
· Terrell Creek Farm – Fordland, Missouri
· Tulip Tree Creamery – Indianapolis, Indiana
· Two Cows Creamery – Hot Springs, South Dakota
· Uplands Cheese – Dodgeville, Wisconsin
· Widmer's Cheese Cellars – Theresa, Wisconsin
The DBIA is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since its inception, the DBIA has now administered over $9.4 million in grants to 103 dairy businesses in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The program also offers technical assistance and education to dairy farmers and processors in the region. The next grant application period will open on August 28.