WCMA, CDR Applaud $23M in Federal Funding for DBII

Posted By: Rebekah Sweeney Advocacy, WCMA News,

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) today applauded members of Congress for directing $23 million in federal funding to the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, including an expected $7.67 million for the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) in the Midwest. The monies were awarded as part of the federal omnibus spending package approved in the U.S. Senate and House.

“We are excited to put this investment to work, strengthening dairy farms and processors and rural communities throughout the Midwest,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “Our sincerest thanks go to the Biden Administration, including Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Congressional leaders like Senator Tammy Baldwin for again championing support for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative.”

“This additional funding is an investment in the long-term success of the U.S. dairy industry, providing critical research dollars and direct-to-business grants that support new export endeavors, the creation of value-added dairy products, and the diversification of revenue streams for family-owned dairy farms,” said John Lucey, CDR Director.

Since its inception in the 2018 Farm Bill, DBIA has administered over $7 million in grants to 88 dairy farms and processors, and now serves an 11-state region, including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This region represents 35 percent of the nation’s milk production and 50 percent of its dairy farms.

“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are key economic drivers of our state’s economy, and I am doing everything I can to support them,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to have secured this critical funding in the 2023 government funding bill so that farmers, cheesemakers, and dairy processors have the tools and resources they need to modernize, reach new markets, and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products.”

For more about the projects DBIA has supported, and to learn about opportunities to take advantage of technical resources, training, and grant programs, visit cdr.wisc.edu/dbia.