USDA Supports Dairy Innovation

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association is applauding the USDA’s announcement of $20.2 million in support for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.

The move was championed by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, in the 2018 Farm Bill and in a federal spending package approved last December.

WCMA and the Center for Dairy Research at UW-Madison partner in running one of the DBII programs, called the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance. It offers direct-to-business grants, free workshops and consultative services, as well as industry research for dairy farmers and processors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

“Smart, targeted investments in farmstead dairy operations and in the development of new, value-added dairy products mean a stronger, more resilient agricultural economy, and we thank Secretary Vilsack and Senator Baldwin for delivering the support needed to continue the impactful work of the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA executive director.

The USDA announcement noted that $18.4 million of its latest funding allocation will go to the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance and to other existing programs run by the University of Tennessee and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.  An additional $1.8 million will be competitively awarded to a new initiative program.

“Greater innovation is critical for a vibrant dairy industry, and this program is critical to support innovation both by dairy farmers and processors,” said John Lucey, food science professor and CDR director at UW-Madison.

See more on the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance: