CAMBRIDGE, WI – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) today praised U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investments in the nation’s dairy processing industry. During USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s visit at Hinchley’s Dairy Farm, WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer thanked the Secretary for funding the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program, including the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) in the Upper Midwest and three other Innovation Centers around the U.S.
“With USDA’s support, the DBIA has awarded nearly $2 million in funding in just the last two grant cycles to dairy farmers and processors pursuing innovative projects across the Upper Midwest, with more on the way,” Umhoefer said. “The DBIA is delivering real successes across its five-state region. We’re grateful for the support and trust Secretary Vilsack has placed in us and in our partners at the Center for Dairy Research to do this work.”
The DBIA is a collaborative partnership between WCMA and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR). The program provides direct-to-business grants and technical assistance to dairy farmers and processors in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. On February 1, 2022, DBIA will begin accepting applications for its next round of Dairy Business Builder grants, designed to help recipients diversify their business models and become more resilient to market changes. More information is available at cdr.wisc.edu/dbia.