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NE-DBIC Update: Announcing New Organic On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant

By Katie Spring, Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center at VAAFM  

In 2021, Horizon Organic and Maple Hill Creamery abruptly announced they were canceling contracts with all their Northeast dairy farms.  In total, 135 organic dairy farms across the Northeast found themselves in limbo, unsure whether they’d be able to stay in business when the contracts ended.    

As a result of the organic dairy crisis, the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center was awarded an additional $19 million by the USDA to increase resiliency in the organic supply chain.  In a continuation of this effort, the NE-DBIC is announcing a new Organic On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant.    

This grant will fund the purchase of specialized equipment to help streamline milk pick-up, increase efficiencies around milk storage, and improve handling for both farmers and their processors.  Open to all organic dairy farmers, those who lost contracts will be prioritized to help them successfully transition to new buyers.  

Awards will range from $10,000- $50,000 with a 25% match commitment.  Total funds available equal $450,000.  

Applications close February 9th.  Get all the details on our website:  


Apply For Dairy Funding Through NE-DBIC  

By Katie Spring, Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center at VAAFM  

The new year is full of funding opportunities through the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) with grants open to cow, goat, and sheep dairy farmers, along with processors and producer associations in 11 Northeast states.  Learn more about the grants below and see the full funding calendar on our website:  

  • Food Safety & Certification Grant:    

This grant supports food safety improvements to increase dairy marketability and help you reach new markets.   Past grants include funding for new bottling equipment, development of HACCP plans, and supplies required for an Interstate Milk Shipping license.   

Projects should build upon existing state and federal compliance requirements to improve consistency, production safety standards, and quality of dairy products.   

Awards range from $10,000 - $40,000 with a 25% required match commitment.  Application deadline: January 19, 2023.  

  • Dairy Innovation & Alternative Management Grant:   

Innovation is key to building enduring farm businesses and a sustainable regional food system.  This grant supports the implementation of community- and climate-forward practices and will fund projects that lead to improved ecological and economic outcomes, as well as benefit the broader dairy community.  

Awards range from $15,000 - $75,000 with a 25% match commitment. Application deadline: February 2, 2023.  

  • Dairy Processor Research & Development Innovation Grant 

To meet consumer preferences for local and sustainable products, this grant offers funding for dairy processors to innovate through research and development. Projects funded through this program will support long term business investments that increase dairy processor business consumer appeal and marketability of value-added dairy products.   

Grants will range from $75,000 to $250,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required. 

Request for Applications will be available on January 10th. Application period is January 26 – March 23, 2023.