MADISON, Wis. — The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced the 31 companies and cooperatives that have been selected to receive Dairy Business Builder grants totaling nearly $2.5 million.
The Dairy Business Builder grant program aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in the Midwest to pursue innovative projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation and efforts to market dairy products for export.
Reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each are awarded following a competitive review process.
“Amid robust competition from across the Midwest, these projects stood out for their ambitious, distinctive approaches to adding value from farm to vat. We’re thrilled to support dairy innovation today and in the future,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA executive director.
“After receiving more than 100 applications from across the 11-state DBIA region, we are delighted to be able to support 31 small dairy businesses with awards. Almost all are first time winners and these funds will help them grow and innovate,” added CDR Director John Lucey.
Companies and cooperatives receiving Dairy Business Builder grants are:
• Alpinage Cheese LLC — Oak Creek, Wisconsin
• Augment LLC — Madison, Wisconsin
• Black Radish Creamery — Alexandria, Ohio
• Charlevoix Cheese Company — Charlevoix, Michigan
• Comstock Cheese LLC — Comstock, Wisconsin
• Copper Crow Distillery — Bayfield, Wisconsin
• Freshly Dairy— Lizton, Indiana
• Furniture City Creamery — Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Gardner’s Wisconsin Cheese LLC — Marshfield, Wisconsin
• Goat Milk Stuff LLC — Scottsburg, Indiana
• GoodSport Nutrition LLC — Evanston, Illinois
• Green Dirt Farm LLC — Weston, Missouri
• Grison Creamery LLC — Ava, Missouri
• Hemme Dairy LLC — Sweet Springs, Missouri
• Highfield Farm Creamery — Walworth, Wisconsin
• Hinterland Dairy — Donnellson, Iowa
• JB’s Barnyard — Evansville, Indiana
• Jisa Farmstead Cheese — Brainard, Nebraska
• Ozark Mountain Creamery LLC — Mountain Grove, Missouri
• Pine River Pre-Pack Inc. — Newton, Wisconsin
• Rowdy Cow Creamery LLC — Burton, Ohio
• Saltless Sea Creamery LLC — Traverse City, Michigan
• Semifreddo LLC — Hart, Michigan
• Sirocco Ridge Farmstead Creamery LLC — Henryville, Indiana
• Smith Brothers Creamery LLC — McConnelsville, Ohio
• Specialty Cheese Co. — Reeseville, Wisconsin
• Thistle Dew Creamery — Vassar, Michigan
• Troyer Specialty Foods — Millersburg, Ohio
• Twin Springs Creamery — Bloomington, Indiana
• VernDale Products Inc. — Detroit, Michigan
• Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Co. — Rudolph, Wisconsin
The DBIA is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since its inception as part of the 2018 farm bill, the DBIA has administered approximately $7 million in grants to 88 dairy businesses within its 11-state service area of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The program also offers technical assistance and education to dairy farmers and processors in the region.