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 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

DBIA provides direct technical assistance through low or no-cost workshops and grants that help improve on-farm diversification, create of value-added products and increase dairy exports.

DBIA resulted from the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that created the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (DBII), championed by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin). The DBII aims 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 addition to the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, three locations across the United States now serve as regional hosts for this initiative:

  • Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
  • University of Tennessee
  • California Dairy Innovation Center

In 2022, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack directed an additional $80 million in American Rescue Plan funds to the four regional Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII), including the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance.


DBIA Webinars

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 cover important topics like risk management, business development strategies, setting up manufacturing processes, and much more.s

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

Dairy Business Builder Grants

Dairy Business Builder grants are designed for small-to-medium size farms or processors. Eligible projects aim to diversify on-farm activity, create value-added products, enhance dairy by-products, or boost export programs. The application period for 2022 Dairy Business Builder grants closed on March 31, 2022. Awards of up to $50,000 each will be announced in May. The next round of Dairy Business Builder grants will open in September 2022.

Dairy Industry Impact Grants


Dairy Industry Impact grants are geared toward dairy product manufacturers that want help developing an innovative idea or tackling a challenge with the potential to advance the dairy industry. Awards of $50,000 to $250,000 in reimbursable grants will be made.


What’s Ahead

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. DBIA will also distribute a total of over $3.4 million in grants to dairy farm and processing businesses.