WCMA Urges Full Funding for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives

Posted By: Grace Atherton Advocacy, WCMA News,

Following the introduction of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) today urged members of Congress to take action on dairy leaders’ appeals to fully fund Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII) across the country.

"There’s much more work to be done on the Farm Bill, and in the week ahead, as House Agriculture Committee members consider amendments to this proposal, we reiterate dairy business leaders’ clear call for more robust investment in industry innovation, as offered in the Senate version of the bill last week,” said Rebekah Sweeney, WCMA Senior Director of Programs & Policy.

Together with the Center for Dairy Research, WCMA administers the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), one of four DBII centers located throughout the country. Since DBII was launched in the 2018 Farm Bill under the leadership of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), it has directed $165 million in federal funding to support farmers and processors.

“DBII offers farmers and processors the tools and resources to innovate amid a host of challenges, creating more stable, resilient businesses. Increased demand warrants an increase in funding, and we call on members of Congress to deliver the $36 million in annual support that dairy businesses need to remain strong now and in the future,” said Sweeney.

This week, a public letter written by Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and Organic Valley – signed by more than 200 dairy business leaders in 31 states – called on Congressional leaders to fully fund DBII in 2025, and throughout the duration of the new Farm Bill. Dairy businesses are still welcome to join WCMA’s coordinated advocacy effort by adding their names to the letter now.