WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House of Representatives passed Bryan Steil’s amendment providing $5 million for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, a program that allows Wisconsin farmers and dairy businesses to modernize the industry. Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) joined Steil in his effort to adequately fund the program.
“The dairy industry is vital to Wisconsin. Now more than ever, our family farms need opportunities to innovate and thrive. The Dairy Business Innovation Initiative allows farmers and dairy businesses to maintain profitability. My amendment provides $5 million in funding. I will continue fighting for Wisconsin dairy and ensure we remain America’s Dairyland for generations to come,” said Steil.
“Dairy Business Association and our affiliated organization, Edge Dairy Farmer Co-op, are very appreciative of Representative Steil’s work to properly fund the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives. These are challenging times for dairy farmers, and we cannot recover by merely doing more of the same. Innovation to help take the dairy community in a new direction is what we need; this funding and these initiatives are key parts of that,” said John Holevoet from Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farm Cooperative.
“The Dairy Business Innovation Initiative is a critical program that helps dairy farmers diversify into new value-added dairy products, and will spur the growth of artisan cheesemakers. This is especially important with the challenging times that the dairy industry is currently facing,” said Dr. John Lucey, Director of the Center for Dairy Research and Professor of Food Science at UW-Madison.
Last year, Steil successfully advocated for funding for the Dairy Business Innovative Initiative. As reported by NBC15 in September 2019, UW-Madison received more than $450,000 through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative to support the regional dairy industry.