Senator Baldwin: Applauds USDA’s $80 Million Investment in Dairy Company Innovation Initiatives

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Wisconsin eligible for $20 million in additional funding from US bailout funds

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, chair of the Senate Farm Appropriations Committee, applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement of an additional $80 million investment in Dairy Business Innovation initiatives (DBI) through the US bailout fund. Senator Baldwin authored the bill creating the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, which he successfully passed in 2018.

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance led by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive $20 million.

“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy and with all the challenges they face, I am working to do whatever I can to help,” said Senator Baldwin. “As our dairy economy faces supply chain challenges, this USDA Federal Funding for Dairy Company Innovation Initiatives will help Wisconsin dairy companies address these challenges, grow their business , modernize their dairy plants and reach new markets. It is essential that farmers, cheese makers and dairy processors have the tools to innovate and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products to build a better future for our dairy farms and advance our rural economy. I am grateful that President Biden and Secretary Vilsack are committed partners in supporting Wisconsin’s dairy economy and rural communities.

“This is a historic investment in dairy companies, and so vital at a time of trade volatility, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions that are testing dairy farms and dairy processing companies”, said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. “This demonstrates the strong commitment of the Biden administration, Secretary Vilsack and Senator Baldwin to stabilize and strengthen the U.S. dairy industry in a way that enables us to meet the demands of a growing international market.”

In November 2021, DBI awarded $18.4 million to three ongoing initiatives at the University of Wisconsin, University of Tennessee, and Vermont Food and Marketing Agency, and 1.8 million to a new initiative at California State University Fresno. Under the existing DBI program, which was previously announced through a Request for Applications (RFA) for FY21, each initiative will now have the opportunity to submit additional proposals for up to $20 million. in funds from the U.S. bailout to further support expansion of processing capacity, over-agricultural improvements, and investments in supply chain resilience. Baldwin voted for the US bailout last year.

Since its inception in 2019, DBI Initiatives has provided valuable technical assistance and sub-grants to dairy farmers and businesses in their regions, helping them develop a business plan, market and promote their brand image. , as well as increasing access to innovative production and processing techniques to support the development of value-added products. Regardless of this additional U.S. bailout funding, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to announce a new call for DBI applications later in FY22 based on appropriations.

AMS supports opportunities in the U.S. market for food and agricultural products, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and congressionally funded grants. To learn more about AMS’ investments in improving and strengthening agricultural systems, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.

Since 2019, the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance has served dairy companies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, working to increase on-farm diversification, support the creation of new value-added dairy products, including specialty cheeses, and to develop dairy products. export attempts. For more information on the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, visit www.cdr.wisc.edu/dbia.

“This additional investment in DBII will support the creation of better-paying and family-friendly jobs and help strengthen rural communities,” said Umhoefer. “We are grateful for the opportunity to expand the impact of the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance and for Senator Baldwin’s leadership in creating and sustaining our program.”

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