USDA
USDA
USDA

USDA Invests $20.2 Million in Grants for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives

The program supports USDA’s efforts to develop higher value uses for dairy products, diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation, and encourage the use of regional milk production, the agency said.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced $20.2 million in grant funding for the Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) initiatives. This program supports USDA’s efforts to develop higher value uses for dairy products, diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation, and encourage the use of regional milk production.
 
“This program has already shown success in helping dairy farmers develop new business models and value-added products,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The additional funding provided will allow USDA to reach more farmers by increasing the capacity of current initiatives and expanding the program to new areas.”
 
DBI Initiatives provide direct technical assistance and make grants to dairy businesses. The three current DBI initiatives at University of Tennessee, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and the University of Wisconsin are eligible for additional grant funding (up to $18.4 million) to continue their work.
 
In addition, $1.8 million will be competitively awarded to at least one new initiative. USDA said it will give priority to applications that serve a geographic area not covered by an existing initiative and that cover multiple states. Initiatives must be able to draw upon existing dairy resources. Initiatives may serve a certain product niche, such as specialty cheese, or serve dairy businesses with dairy products derived from the milk of a specific type of dairy animal, including dairy products made from cow milk, sheep milk and goat milk.