Livestock News

USDA commits $80 million to support long-term resilience in the dairy industry

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced an additional investment of $80 million in the Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives.

The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives support dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing and distribution of dairy products. DBI Initiatives provide direct technical assistance and grants to dairy businesses, including niche dairy products, such as specialty cheese, or dairy products derived from the milk of a dairy animal, including cow, sheep and goat milk.

These initiatives specifically focus on:

  • Diversifying dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher-value uses for dairy products.
  • Promoting business development that diversifies farmer income through processing and marketing innovation.
  • Encouraging the use of regional milk production.

In November 2021, DBI awarded $18.4 million to three current Initiatives at University of Tennessee, Vermont Agency for Food and Marketing and University of Wisconsin, and $1.8 million to a new initiative at California State University Fresno. Under the existing DBI program, which was previously announced through a FY21 Request for Applications (RFA), each Initiative will now have the opportunity to submit additional proposals for up to $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds to further support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance to producers.

“The pandemic has demonstrated that dairy producers and regional dairy processors, particularly those engaged in value-added production, faced systemic shocks over the past several years,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We have heard directly from producers and processors — particularly organic producers and processors in the Northeast — on how we can work with the industry to build long-term resilience of regional dairy supply chains. The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives have supported regional-focused efforts tailored to the needs of dairy farmers and businesses locally. This additional funding will expand the capacity of the four initiatives to provide technical assistance and sub-grants exponentially.”

AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural products market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and Congressionally funded grants. To learn more about AMS’s investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit the AMS grant website.

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