WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $80 million in awards to support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance services to producers under the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBI). The funds are being awarded noncompetitively to the four current DBI Initiatives at the California State University Fresno, the University of Tennessee, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, USDA is announcing the availability of $22.9 million through a Request for Applications for funding provided by FY 2022 appropriations to support these same DBI Initiatives.
The awards were made possible by supplemental funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, and the newly-announced RFA will provide funding available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022.
“The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives have proven to be an invaluable resource for dairy farmers and businesses because of their ability to provide targeted resources and funding through subawards at the local and regional level, maximizing impact,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “As we celebrate National Dairy Month this June, USDA continues to look for ways to support America’s dairy industry, especially amidst ongoing supply chain and food system challenges. With this additional funding, the four DBIs are receiving a significant increase in resources, enabling each to continue facilitating the development of critical relationships with local dairy producers and processors to support their on-the-ground needs.”
Under Secretary Moffitt joined U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in Waterloo, Wisconsin to meet with dairy businesses.
“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy and with all the challenges they face I’m working to do everything I can to help,” said Senator Baldwin. “This federal funding from USDA will help Wisconsin dairy businesses modernize, reach new markets, and create economic growth. The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives provide our farmers, cheesemakers, and dairy processors with the tools they need to innovate and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products. I’m thankful that President Biden and USDA are committed partners in supporting Wisconsin’s dairy economy and rural communities.”
Since its inception in 2019, DBI initiatives have provided valuable technical assistance and sub-grants 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.
AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural products market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and Congressionally funded grants.
To learn more about AMS’s investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit the AMS Grants Page.