The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA)
is a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and the
Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) that develops and administers
programs providing technical assistance as well as grants to dairy
farms and businesses in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and
The overall DBIA goal is to find ways to improve the profitability of
dairy farmers and processors. This goal is in alignment with the stated
objectives of the initiative.
- Increase on-farm diversification opportunities
- Create value-added dairy products such as specialty cheeses
- Focus on export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that created the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative
to assist dairy farmers and dairy processors in creating new revenue
streams through farm diversification and the creation of “higher value”
food and beverage products containing a dairy ingredient. In 2019, the
USDA requested applications that resulted in the selection of three
locations as regional hosts for this initiative:
The 2018 Farm Bill lasts for five years. It is expected, pending
Congress’s budgetary process, that additional annual funding will be
made available annually.
For each year an award is made, the three regional centers of excellence will receive an equal amount of funding.
Initial funding from the USDA was released in late 2019, providing
approximately $460,000 to each center. The terms of the award require a
minimum of 50% of the funds to be distributed as grants to dairy based farms and processors.
On August 20, the USDA notified DBIA that they had been awarded $6.13 million to support their program plans for the next three years.