The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard's Dairyman.

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) will begin accepting applications August 21 for two upcoming grant opportunities: the Dairy Business Builder Grant Program and the Dairy Industry Impact Grant Program.

“Grant dollars provide farmers and processors with the boost they need to grow and diversify their operations, creating a stronger dairy industry and a stronger food supply chain,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “We’ve been thrilled by the business success of past DBIA participants, and we’re excited to see what innovation new grant awardees will spur with their projects.”

The Dairy Business Builder Grant Program aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs, and processors in the Midwest to pursue innovative projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation, and efforts to market dairy products for export. Reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded following a competitive review process.

The Dairy Industry Impact Grant Program will welcome applications in targeted topic areas that have the potential to positively impact the dairy industry. In the upcoming grant cycle, applications will be accepted for projects related to new or expanded dairy export endeavors. Just as with its companion program, the Dairy Industry Impact Grant Program offers reimbursable grants of up to $100,000 each, to be awarded following a competitive review of all applications.

“It’s a difficult time in the dairy industry at the moment and this initiative directly supports farmers and processors to create new products and reach new markets. That’s crucial as we try to build a more resilient dairy industry,” said John Lucey, CDR Director.

Applicants may apply for both the Dairy Business Builder Grant and the Dairy Industry Impact Grant, if they have two separate projects related to DBIA goals. Companies are eligible to receive awards from both offerings in the same grant cycle. Online application forms will be posted to on August 21 and the deadline for submissions is October 18 at 5 p.m. Central Time. Applicants will be notified of results in early December.

DBIA Webinars: Anyone who is interested in either grant program is encouraged to attend one of the upcoming free webinars. These webinars will review the application components, FAQs and our advice for a successful application.

The DBIA is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Including the awards listed above, since its inception as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, the DBIA has administered over $9.4 million in grants to 103 dairy businesses in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The program also offers technical assistance and education to dairy farmers and processors in the region.