Dairy Business Innovation Alliance
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.
Midwest dairy producers and processors looking to diversify, modernize, or develop new products can submit grant applications to DBIA starting Monday, June 15, 2020. Find the application form here.
A grant review committee established by DBIA and including WCMA will make awards for projects in increments up to $20,000. Applications are due August 14, 2020 and selected applicants will be notified in September 2020.
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
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.
In December 2019, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) secured Congressional approval of $20 million in funding for DBII in Fiscal Year 2020. Together as the DBIA, WCMA and CDR are finalizing their application for additional support.