USDA Announces Funding for Dairy Innovation

The US Department of Agriculture has announced $23 million in awards to support dairy businesses and producers under the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives grant program. Jenny Lester Moffit, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, made the announcement at World Dairy Expo.

“There are four centers around the country, so that money will be split amongst those four centers, but here in the Midwest $7 million will be invested of that $23 million in the dairy business innovation initiative. Combined for the Midwest, with that seven million, will total about $40 million since 2019 that we’ve invested here in Midwest production for dairy innovation.” 

Moffit says innovation means a variety of different things.

“They’re doing things like developing new innovative cheese products packaging lines, so that they can sell into new market opportunities. They’re investing in of course, things like turning byproducts from dairy production like whey into new value opportunities like vodka, for example. And, the bioeconomy is an important economy that I know many farmers across the country are looking at. Byproducts in dairy production into ethanol or also turning the byproduct or in the actual dairies themselves and things like turning manure into renewable energy through digesters or into important nutrients through fertilizer production as well.” 

The initiatives support small and mid-sized dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products.