Apply Now for Dairy Business Builder Grants

Posted By: Grace Atherton Advocacy, WCMA News,

Applications are being accepted now through November 10 for a new round of Dairy Business Builder grants open to dairy farmers, manufacturers, and processors in eleven Midwestern states. Thanks to additional federal funding, this Dairy Business Builder cycle marks the first to offer reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each, doubling the previous limit of $50,000 each. Competition is open to small- to medium-sized businesses in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nb, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas, and Wisconsin.

The funding is administered by the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA). The awards aim to support recipients in diversifying on-farm activity, creating value-added products, enhancing dairy byproducts, and creating or enhancing dairy export programs.

“These awards are a great source of support for any Midwestern dairy entrepreneur looking to expand and improve their business. DBIA grant funding has already helped spur growth for dozens of dairy farmers and processors. We look forward to seeing a new round of fresh, innovative proposals this fall,” said John Umhoefer, Executive Director of WCMA.

"We have increased the size of these Business Builder grants to help dairy businesses and startups invest in significant growth strategies,” said CDR Director John Lucey.

Application materials, including a free webinar with tips for a strong proposal, are now available online at All applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (CT) on November 10. Successful applicants will be notified by December 15, 2022.

The DBIA is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was created in the 2018 federal Farm Bill. Since then, the DBIA has administered over $3.7 million in 81 grants across two programs to dairy farms and businesses. The program also offers technical assistance to dairy farmers and processors in participating states.