New partnership results in grants for 6 Michigan dairy businesses; next round opens in February

What’s happening: It was September 2022 when the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced that Michigan was joining the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA). That partnership is already producing results, as MDARD recently announced that six Michigan dairy businesses have been awarded Dairy Business Builder Grants at the start of this new year.

Winning: This latest cohort of Dairy Business Builder Grant winners includes 31 companies throughout the midwest, totaling $2.4 million in grants. In Michigan, the selected dairy businesses include Charlevoix Cheese Company, Charlevoix; Furniture City Creamery, Grand Rapids; Saltless Sea Creamery, Traverse City; Semifreddo LLC, Hart; Thistle Dew Creamery, Vassar; and VernDale Products Inc., Detroit.

About the grants: The federal Dairy Business Builder Grants program is administered by the DBIA, which itself is a partnership between the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The grant program rewards Midwestern dairy businesses for pursuing innovative projects like on-farm processing, diversification, and more.

The application window for the next round of Dairy Business Builder Grants opens this February, more information of which is available HERE.

Why it’s important: “At MDARD, we’re dedicated to supporting our strong dairy industry. Our new partnership with DBIA resulted in six Michigan businesses receiving funding allowing them to increase innovation and expand,” says MDARD Acting Director Kathy Angerer. “Michigan’s dairy industry provides nutritious foods produced and processed locally while making a significant economic impact across the state. Continuing to invest in our food and agriculture boosts rural and agriculture economic development helping to make us Michigan strong.”

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