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Dairy grants available to help farmers improve profitability

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Dairy producers who are looking to improve profitability, create a transition plan, or plan a major business transformation are encouraged to apply for one of three team grant opportunities available through the Center for Dairy Excellence’s On-Farm Resource Program. The 2020-21 team grants allow dairy producers to establish on-farm teams and take advantage of professional consulting and mentorship resources. The application period opened in October 2020, and limited dairy grants are available on a first come, first serve basis.

“The team program really helped us when we got into the planning and details. When we had everyone, including our veterinarian and bank, around the table, we actually changed some of our initial ideas because of the discussion we had with the team,” said Reid Hoover of Brook-Corner Holsteins in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a previous grant recipient. “It was exciting to hear from different people who were going to help us in the future describe where they thought we should go. It was very helpful.”

The Center for Dairy Excellence offers three types of team grants: Dairy Profit Team, Dairy Transition Team, or Dairy Transformation Team. Each team consists of industry experts and trusted advisors, and the Center leverages funds provided through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide these grants to individual farms.

“Whether farms are looking to identify bottlenecks that are hurting profitability or develop a plan that smooths the road for transitioning to the next generation, our team grants provide an outside perspective that can be extremely beneficial when making decisions that impact the future of your operation,” said Melissa Anderson, Programs and Operations Manager at the Center for Dairy Excellence.

Hear from dairy farmers who have used the program, and learn more about each type of team grant:

  • Dairy Profit Teams: The Profit Team’s function is to serve as a group of advisors for the farm, addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for greater profitability. Dairy farms can receive up to $1,500 in reimbursements for paid team members and discovery-related costs. 
  • Dairy Transition Teams: This team is designed to help farms develop a transition or succession plan. The grant covers up to $3,500 of the cost of paid team members, discovery-related costs and attorney expenses.
  • Dairy Transformation Teams: This option allows producers to establish a team to help plan and execute a major business transformation. Farms can receive up to $3,500 to establish a team to help plan and work through their transformation. (Manure storage facility improvements do not qualify as eligible Transformation Team projects.)

On-farm teams consist of the farm’s most trusted advisors, with a facilitator designated to coordinate meetings and workflow. Farms with existing teams or those who want to establish a team to work in an advisory role can receive reimbursements for paid team members and discovery-related costs.

For all grant programs offered by the Center, program participants must demonstrate industry and farm commitment by documenting in-kind and financial match contributions to the program reimbursements received. Farms must complete an application and submit the required $100 application fee to participate in the advisory teams.

Limited grants are available for the 2020-21 year and are available on a first come, first serve basis. Once approved, farms can utilize the grant to be reimbursed for any qualified expenses incurred from July 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021.

Visit their website to apply online or download a printed application.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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