WCMA Applauds Sen. Baldwin, Congress Upon Approval of $20M in 2020 for Dairy Business Innovation

Posted By: Rebekah Sweeney Advocacy, WCMA News,

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is thanking U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) today for securing Congressional approval of $20 million in funding for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII) in Fiscal Year 2020.

“We are deeply grateful for Senator Baldwin’s leadership, both to create the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives, and to fight for their funding,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director.  “She has been a tireless champion for dairy farmers and dairy processors, working to stabilize and strengthen our industry.”

“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy, but recently our dairy farmers have faced very challenging times with an oversupply of milk, low milk prices and tough impacts from tariffs,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s critical that farmers, cheesemakers and dairy processors have tools to innovate and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products to build a brighter future for our dairy farms and drive our rural economy forward.”

WCMA, in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is leading one of three regional DBII centers.  With initial funding of more than $450,000 approved for Fiscal Year 2019, the WCMA/CDR project, called the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, will soon offer low- or no-cost workshops designed to grow the dairy industry and allocate grants directly to dairy businesses for product development and marketing.  The Alliance is set to serve dairy farmers and processors in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

“With targeted investments, we can create and market more value-added dairy products, increasing the profitability of family farms,” said Umhoefer.  “We’re excited to work toward that goal, and deeply appreciative of the support that Sen. Baldwin has secured.”