Announcing the On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grantees
By Katie Spring, VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is pleased to announce 23 recipients of the On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant. These funds allowed farmers to purchase and install specialized equipment including larger bulk tanks, plate coolers, glycol chillers, and pipeline systems, which lead to savings on hauling costs, decreased fuel usage, and increased energy efficiency.
In one of the most competitive rounds we’ve seen, over 175 farms applied for the grant. With such a clear need for storage and handling funding across the region, NE-DBIC will offer a similar grant in fall of 2023. Awards in this round ranged from $20,000- $50,000, with just over $1,005,000 awarded.
On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grantees include two farms in Vermont:
- Bedrock Farms will install milk cooling and heat recovery systems to cool milk more quickly and efficiently, leading to increased milk quality and reduced farm energy costs.
- Mystiq Heights will replace a small buffer bulk tank with a 5,000-gallon bulk tank in order to create an automated two-tank system that will improve milk quality and efficiency and allow them to move to every-other-day milk pickup.
Farmers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania also received awards. For information on upcoming grant rounds, visit our website www.agriculture.vermont.gov/dbic
Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center Grants
Dairy Processor Expansion Grant
Dairy Processors across the Northeast can apply for funding to purchase specialized equipment that will allow them to increase processing capacity through volume expansion and existing product line expansion. With a focus on expanding the utilization of regionally sourced milk, this grant offers a total of $12 million spread across 3 Tiers of funding to support processors at a variety of sizes.
Processors that fall into Tiers 1 and 2 will go through a multi-stage application process, with a pre-application due by May 11.
Tier 3 processors will be invited to fill out a single-stage application, with an expected application period between June and August.
A Request for Applications for all Tiers is available on our website: www.agriculture.vermont.gov/dbic/grants/existing-dairy-processor-expansion-grant
Dairy Marketing & Branding Services Grant
The Dairy Marketing and Branding Services Grant Program is re-opening to established value-added dairy processors and producer associations on April 11.
With funds to access professional marketing and branding services, this grant helps value-added processors increase the exposure and promotion of regionally produced dairy products through support from marketing and branding professionals.
Awards will range from $10,000 - $50,000 with a match requirement of 25%. Additionally, up to 25% of the grant funds may be used to implement the strategy and/or content developed by the contractor.
Learn more on our website: www.agriculture.vermont.gov/dbic/grants/cohort-dairy-technical-assistance-contract
Dairy Farm Cohort Technical Assistance Contract
The NE-DBIC seeks Requests for Proposals for Dairy Farm Cohorts, our innovative approach to Technical Assistance.
Interested contractors may submit a proposal to offer cohort-based TA for dairy farmers in one or more of these areas: increased grazing quality or quantity, home-grown forage enhancement, alternative herd management, innovative staffing and business management, and marketing and education of dairy production practices.
Contractors will have the flexibility to work with dairy farmers of any scale, type of dairy animal, certification status, and current condition of the farm. Contracts will be issued for up to $150,000. Total funds available $500,000.
The Request for Proposals will be available on our website on April 11: www.agriculture.vermont.gov/dbic/grants/cohort-dairy-technical-assistan…