OPINION. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin-2-Madison, recently helped approve a spending package in Congress that allocates $22 million in funding for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives in 2021.
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The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, is one of three centers that are funded by the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance will be submitting a proposal in 2021 to secure additional funding as a result of this latest budget allocation.

“In these challenging times, we must continue to focus on innovation and assist the growth of artisan dairy products, as they will add value that can be returned back to our dairy farmers,” said John Lucey, Center for Dairy Research director.

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance supports dairy farmers and processors interested in developing value-added dairy products, farm-diversification projects and-or developing an export program. The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance provides grants to dairy farmers and processors in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It offers free workshops and webinars as well as resources to help grow the dairy industry.

“This is great news for the dairy industry in the region,” said Tom Guerin, Center for Dairy Research research-program manager. “The initiative provides a much-needed boost for dairy businesses and farmers seeking to add value to their milk. Working with our collaborators across the five states as well as the other centers in Tennessee and Vermont, we are able to share experiences, ideas and learnings for everyone’s benefit.”

Oceania Dairy wanted to install a packaging machine purchased from Spain during the pandemic lockdowns in 2021. But due to New Zealand’s travel restrictions, no one from abroad could assist with the installation.

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