Image: NE-DBIC leaders and selected expansion grant awardees from Vermont gathered in Waterbury today at the Cabot Creamery Visitor Center to celebrate the announcement of these significant awards.
Substantial Funding from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center Is a Catalyst for Dairy Sector Resiliency
November 8, 2023 | Montpelier, VT – Dairy processors across the Northeast are receiving an important investment intended to build resiliency and spur industry growth in our region. The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announced today 35 businesses have been selected for over $12 million in awards through the Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant.
With total funding of $12,287,001 across eight states, individual awards range from $25,852 to $1 million. Those selected for awards represent processors of all sizes: from farmstead creameries to multi-state businesses and co-ops.
In Vermont, 10 processors have been awarded grants:
- Agri-Mark Inc - Cabot Cooperative Creamery
- Cellars at Jasper Hill
- Maplebrook Farm
- Vermont Farm and Cheese Collaborative
- Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company
- Wilcox Ice Cream
- Ice House Farm
- Larson Farm
- lulu Artisan Ice Cream
- Parish Hill Creamery
This one-time infusion of funding is a direct result of the Northeast Dairy Taskforce, convened by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM), at the request of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. Charged to provide an actionable response to Danone/Horizon cutting milk contracts with Northeast dairy farmers, the regional taskforce recommended investing “catalytic levels of funding into existing successful track-record processors positioned to scale production quickly.”
The USDA subsequently awarded the NE-DBIC an additional $20 million to address the stability and viability of Northeast regional dairy. The Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant does just that, funding specialized equipment to help processors increase the use of regionally sourced milk and expand regional dairy processing capacity.
“USDA is proud to be a partner with Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in their ongoing efforts to support the region’s dairy businesses through the Northeast Dairy Business Initiative,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This funding will expand markets for dairy producers, ensure a steady supply of dairy products to consumers, and make significant contributions to the region’s economy.”
Over 3,200 dairy farmers will benefit from this processing expansion, stabilizing and expanding options for their milk and increasing the amount of local dairy on store shelves throughout the Northeast.
“The funding will have significant impacts for Vermont’s producers, helping bolster and stabilize production,” said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. “This will help Vermont’s world-renowned dairy industry grow and prosper and continue making Vermont proud.”
“Dairy delivers for Vermont and the Northeast. Our farmers are committed to producing a high-quality product, but they need support. These investments are great for our processors, farmers and consumers,” said Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts. “By investing in new and existing products these grants will keep milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream in our stores, schools, and homes. We are grateful for the support from USDA & Congress for this partnership.”
Selected recipients include processors in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Find the full list of recipients and their planned expansion project details by visiting the NE-DBIC website here: https://nedairyinnovation.com/processor-expansion-awards/#Recipients
Contact: Katie Spring | NE-DBIC Outreach & Content Specialist | 802-522-3186 | Katie.Spring@vermont.gov