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Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant program to address the significant need for investment in processing infrastructure in the Northeast. This grant will only fund existing dairy processing facilities located in the Northeast region with a focus on expanding utilization of regionally sourced milk and diversifying the supply chain.

Projects funded through this grant will focus primarily on acquiring specialized equipment needed to increase processing capacity through volume expansion and existing product line expansion. Additional activities that directly support increased production capacity may be included.

Grants are available to applicants in all Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Funding Tiers

Multiple tiers of grant funding ranges will be available to processors at a variety of sizes. Processors that transform milk (for purposes of this grant, milk means fluid milk, dairy components, or dairy mix) sourced from the Northeast region into an edible product may apply in one of three grant tiers based on their scale:

  • Tier 1 (for processors of 100,000 pounds or more daily, sourced from 20 or more farms):
    • Grant amounts of $500,000 – $1,000,000, with a 25% cash or in-kind match commitment required
    • Request for Application will be released January 31, 2023
    • Pre-application period: March 16 – May 11, 2023
    • For those invited to submit a Full Application, application period is expected to be: June – August 2023.
  • Tier 2 (for processors of 500 – 100,000 pounds daily, sourced from 3 or more farms):
    • Grant amounts of $150,000 – $650,000, with a 25% cash or in-kind match commitment required
    • Request for Application will be released January 31, 2023
    • Pre-application period: March 16 – May 11, 2023
    • For those invited to submit a Full Application, application period is expected to be: June – August 2023.
  • Tier 3 (for processors of 1 – 1,000 pounds daily, sourced from 1 – 3 farms):
    • Grant amounts of $25,000 – $250,000, with a 25% cash or in-kind match commitment required
    • Request for Application will be released in June 2023
    • Full, single-stage application period is expected to be: June – August 2023 

Processors that qualify for more than one tier may apply for the higher tier. 

A total of $12,000,000 in grant funds is available: approximately $6,000,000 for Tier 1, $4,000,000 for Tier 2, and $2,000,000 for Tier 3. 

Eligibility

Licensed dairy processors located in the Northeast region of the United States may apply for this grant if they both process milk (for purposes of this grant, milk means fluid milk, dairy components, or dairy mix) within the Northeast and are compliant with all required state and federal standards.

How to Apply

This grant will be split into multiple funding tiers to accommodate processors of all scales. Smaller award ranges will apply in a single round application process. Larger awards will be required to participate in a multi-stage application process. Final award decisions will be made for all funding tiers concurrently.

  1. Review the full Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant RFA (request for applications) for the complete details on eligible projects/applicants:
    1.  Existing Processor Expansion - Tier 1 & Tier 2 Pre-Application RFA: two-stage application process 
      1. Pre-application questions and scoring criteria will be made available on February 16, 2023.
      2. Pre-application period: March 16 - May 11, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET
    2. Tier 3: single-stage application process when it becomes available in June 2023.
  2. Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days).
  3. Complete your application in WebGrants using our Application Guide when it becomes available.

Have a Question about this Grant?

Have a question? Contact Laura Ginsburg or Kathryn Donovan.

Northeast DBIC Staff

Laura Ginsburg, Center Lead
laura.ginsburg@vermont.gov
(802) 522-2252 

Kathryn Donovan, Programs Manager
kathryn.donovan@vermont.gov
(802) 585-4571

Katie Spring, Outreach & Content Specialist
agr.dairyinnovation@vermont.gov

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Funding for the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grants AM190100XXXXG081, AM200100XXXXG003, 21DBIVT1004-00, and AM21DBIVT1011-00. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.