The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $23 million in grant funding is available to support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance services to producers through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives.
The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives provide valuable technical assistance and subgrants to dairy farmers and businesses across their regions, supporting them with business plan development, marketing, and branding, as well as increasing access to innovative production and processing techniques to support the development of value-added products.
“The Dairy Business Innovative Initiatives use their on-the-ground knowledge and their ability to target funding where it will have the most regional and local impacts to make significant improvements to the U.S. dairy supply chain,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This program is a great example of USDA’s efforts to build capacity from the bottom up and the middle out by supporting small and mid-sized dairy operations.”
The funds will be awarded noncompetitively to the current initiatives at the California State University Fresno; the University of Tennessee; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets; and the University of Wisconsin. Through the Request for Applications (RFA), the initiatives will have an opportunity to submit proposals for this year’s funding. Dairy farmers and businesses interested in the program must contact the appropriate initiative to be considered for direct technical assistance or a subaward.
AMS encourages applications to identify activities that benefit smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, low-income, and minority individuals, and underserved communities. AMS also encourages partnerships with minority-serving institutions of higher education. For projects intending to serve these entities, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.
The Request for Applications (RFA), information about grant eligibility, and a list of previously funded projects are available on the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative webpage. Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 10, 2023.
For additional information, contact IPPGrants@usda.gov.