The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), will open the application period for its next grant cycle on March 1. During this next grant cycle, DBIA will be distributing $1 million in grants.
Grant applications will be available for download on the DBIA website starting March 1, 2021 and are due April 30, 2021. Applications will be scored and selected by June 1, 2021 and awardees will be notified by June 10, 2021. The grant application will be posted on this page: https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/grant-program.
Dairy enterprises (farmers, entrepreneurs, processors, etc.) in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible to apply. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded through a competitive process. Eligible project categories are:
• Dairy farm diversification through dairy product development, specialization, packaging and/or marketing strategies.
• Creation of value-added dairy products (use milk to manufacture cheese, yogurt, beverages, etc.).
• Enhance the value of a dairy commodity or by-product through product development or alternate use (e.g., converting liquid whey permeate for animal feed into a product for human consumption).
• Creation or expansion of a program for exporting dairy products.
Interested applicants are encouraged to join DBIA staff for a free webinar on March 9. This webinar will provide more information on the DBIA grant program, give tips about the grant application process and answer any questions. Watch the DBIA website for more information.
DBIA staff also encourage potential applicants to view the “Let’s Get Started” webinar series (https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/dbia-webinars) prior to applying for a grant. The webinars share state and federal resources that can be helpful for dairy and farm businesses who wish to apply for a DBIA grant. For example, if an applicant needs help developing a business plan or a project budget, DBIA staff encourages them to contact their local Small Business Development Centers (business plans are required for the DBIA grant applications).
Last year, in its first phase, DBIA provided $230,000 to 13 dairy farms and businesses in all five of the participating states (https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/2020-dbia-grant-recipients).