Federal spending bill includes Dairy Business Innovation funding
The COVID relief and government spending bill signed Sunday night by President Trump includes 2 million dollars to support the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative. Rebekah Sweeney with the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association tells Brownfield these additional dollars will help create more demand for dairy. “This is a program that funds three centers. One of which, the Center for Dairy Research and WCMA partner in running, that support new dairy initiatives, in particular, focusing on value-added dairy products and how we market them both domestically and abroad.”
Sweeney says the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative originally received 450-thousand dollars in the last farm bill, followed by twenty million dollars last year. The new omnibus bill adds two million dollars for 2021.
Sweeney says around 230-thousand of the initial funding went out as grants this year, and no less than half of the money will go out to farmers and processors for additional project grants. “It supports direct-to-business grants and it also supports training and consultative services to try to get new businesses up and running and try to diversify existing businesses so they can be more profitable and ultimately strengthen the whole supply chain.”
The Dairy Business Innovation Initiative is administered by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to encourage use of regional milk production, diversifying dairy product markets, and increase farmer incomes.