USDA Offering $12M in Grants for Dairy Industry Innovation

The grant funding is through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.

June 25, 2024

2 Min Read
USDA offers grant funding for dairy industry
The grant funding is for processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance services.Wirestock/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) just announced $12 million in grant funding to support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance services to producers through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBI).

The funds will be awarded noncompetitively to the DBI Initiatives at the California State University Fresno; the University of Tennessee; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets; and the University of Wisconsin. Through the Request for Applications (RFA), the initiatives will have an opportunity to submit proposals for this year’s funding.

“The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives utilize a unique approach of providing both technical assistance and subawards to small and mid-sized dairy businesses,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “Through this, the businesses are able to diversify markets and income, develop higher value uses for their milk products, and achieve higher returns.”DBI Initiatives provide valuable technical assistance and subgrants to dairy farmers and businesses across their regions, supporting them with business plan development, marketing, and branding, as well as, increasing access to innovative production and processing techniques to support the development of value-added products, USDA says.

Since its inception in 2019, the initiatives have invested more than $64 million and awarded 600+ subrecipients in 40 states to provide valuable support to dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products.

Dairy farmers and businesses interested in the program must contact the appropriate initiative to be considered for direct technical assistance or a subaward. AMS encourages applications to identify activities that benefit smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, low-income, and minority individuals, and underserved communities.

AMS also encourages partnerships with minority-serving institutions of higher education. For projects intending to serve these entities, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.

Visit Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives for the Request for Applications (RFA), information about grant eligibility, and a list of previously funded projects.

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