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Omnibus Bill Includes Funding for Dairy Innovation Projects
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/23/2020

A state farm organization is crediting U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for using her position on the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee to secure $22 million in support for Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives in the omnibus spending package approved by Congress this week. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association says the allocation represents a funding increase of $2 million over the previous year.

"Senator Baldwin first secured support for the creation of the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and she has fought for every dollar, every year since, to maximize its impact," said WCMA Director John Umhoefer. "We are deeply grateful for her focus on strengthening the dairy industry from farm to vat, and beyond."

Baldwin said in a statement that Wisconsin's dairy sector is a key driver of the state's economy, but needs help after facing challenges as a result of the global pandemic.

"It's critical that farmers, cheesemakers and dairy processors have the tools to innovate and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products to build a brighter future for our dairy farms and drive our rural economy forward," Baldwin said.

WCMA, in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, leads one of three regional DBII centers. The WCMA/CDR project, called the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance, provides direct-to-business grants to dairy farmers and processors in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, and offers free workshops and consultative services to grow the dairy industry.

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