Dairy Business Innovation Alliance 

About DBIA

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), is a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and Center for Dairy Research (CDR), that brings together the diverse expertise needed to drive significant growth to dairy farmers and dairy processors across the Midwest in: Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.

DBIA provides direct technical assistance through low or no-cost workshops and award grants that meet the themes of improving on-farm diversification, creation of value-added products and increasing dairy exports.

DBIA resulted from the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that created the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (DBII) to assist dairy farmers and dairy processors in creating new revenue streams through increased farm diversification in new business strategies and the creation of “higher value” food and beverage products containing a dairy ingredient. In 2019, the USDA requested applications that resulted in the selection of three locations as regional hosts for this initiative:

  • DBIA, representing the upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota
  • Vermont, representing the far northeastern United States
  • Tennessee

Funding for Phase I of the Farm Bill (2018-2020) was released in late 2019, providing approximately $450,000 to each regional center. The award is divided into two categories, with 50% of the funds required to be given out as grants.


DBIA Webinar Series

Let's Get Started

The DBIA's "Let's Get Started" webinars are designed to identify local resources, expertise and technical assistance to support dairy farmers and processors who have decided to move forward on diversifying their enterprise, developing a new product, or exporting, but are not sure on how to get started. The webinars are a combination of general information presentations, breakout sessions and interviews with farmers and processors willing to share their experiences and lessons learned.

Visit DBIA's website to access recordings and PowerPoints from the "Let's Get Started" series.

Let's Keep Your Business Going

DBIA's “Let’s Keep Your Business Going” webinars are a series designed to help dairy processors strengthen their businesses. These sessions will cover important topics like risk management, business development strategies, setting up manufacturing processes, and much more. See below for a full schedule of webinars in this series:

  • August 10, 2021: So Your Business is Up and Running - What's Next?
  • August 24, 2021: Developing Business Strategies
  • September 14, 2021: Keeping Your Business Safe
  • September 28, 2021: Manufacturing Processes
  • October 12, 2021: Fine Tuning Your Marketing Strategy
  • October 26, 2021: Social Media Marketing
  • November 9, 2021: Developing E-Commerce
  • November 23, 2021: Developing an Export Program

Visit DBIA's website to register for upcoming webinars in the "Let's Keep Your Business Going" series, and to access recordings and PowerPoints from past webinars in the series.


DBIA Grants

DBIA announced in July 2021 the 25 companies and cooperatives which, via a competitive review process, have been selected to receive grants totaling more than $1 million. 2021 DBIA grant recipients, listed alphabetically by company name, are:

  • Associated Milk Producers, Inc. - Paynesville, Minnesota
  • Berrybrook Organics - Marion, South Dakota
  • Carr Valley Cheese Company - La Valle, Wisconsin
  • Cider Farm Brands, LLC dba The Cider Farm - Mineral Point, Wisconsin
  • Cinnamon Ridge - Donahue, Iowa
  • Concept Processing, LLC - Melrose, Minnesota
  • Country View Dairy, LLC - Hawkeye, Iowa
  • Deerland Dairy - Freeport, Illinois
  • Farm Life Creamery, LLC - Ethan, South Dakota
  • GoodSport Nutrition, LLC - Evanston, Illinois
  • Holland’s Family Cheese, LLC - Thorp, Wisconsin
  • Kasemeister Creamery - Frankfort, South Dakota
  • Klemish Creamery - New Auburn, Wisconsin
  • Landmark Creamery, LLC - Belleville, Wisconsin
  • Millerville Cooperative Creamery Association - Brandon, Minnesota
  • Moore Family Farms/Moore Local - Maquoketa, Iowa
  • Nature’s Prime dba Khaaza - Hawley, Minnesota
  • Olala Creamery, LLC (Alpinage) - Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • Pasture Pride Cheese, LLC - Cashton, Wisconsin
  • Redhead Creamery, LLC - Brooten, Minnesota
  • Royal Guernsey Creamery, LLC - Columbus, Wisconsin
  • Simple Life Farms - Winterset, Iowa
  • Specialty Cheese Company, Inc. - Reeseville, Wisconsin
  • Tuls Dairies dba DARI, LLC - Clinton, Wisconsin
  • Yodelay Yogurt, LLC - Madison, Wisconsin

In the next funding period, running through 2023, the DBIA will distribute over $3.4 million in grants to dairy farm and processing businesses, in potential increments between $5,000-$250,000. DBIA will also provide funding across market research, product development, training workshops, and consultative services to industry. Program support comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Current and future announcements regarding DBIA grants and trainings can be found online.


What’s Ahead

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in August 2020 that CDR and WCMA have been awarded $6.13 million to support continuation of the DBIA, serving Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

In the next funding period, running through 2023, the DBIA will provide funding across market research, product development, training workshops, and consultative services to industry. In addition, the DBIA will also distribute over $3.4 million in grants to dairy farm and processing businesses, in potential increments between $5,000-$250,000. 

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) authored the bill creating the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative program, successfully shepherding its passage in 2018.  Baldwin helped secure initial funding for DBIA of $450,000 in 2019, and championed expanded funding this year, along with Congressmen Glenn Grothman (R-WI6), Ron Kind (D-WI3), Mark Pocan (D-WI2), Bryan Steil (R-WI1), and state department of agriculture officials.