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Grants to Wisconsin Dairy Processors to Improve Operations and Foster Innovation at Dairy Plants


Geographic Focus

USA: Wisconsin

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Dairy Processor Grant

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #150355

Grant Description

Grants of up to $50,000 to Wisconsin dairy processors to address a variety of business needs. Funding is intended to support projects that enhance profitability, improve operations, solve current problems, foster innovation, and implement new processes. Funded projects may promote modernization and expansion, food safety, and workforce development and training. The purpose of the program is to improve the long-term viability and advance the growth of Wisconsin’s dairy industry through services to dairy processing plants.

Eligible Projects

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP’s) Dairy Processor Grant strives to promote the growth of Wisconsin’s dairy industry through grants to persons operating dairy processing plants, as defined by Wis. Stat. § 97.20(1)(h). The Dairy Processor Grant is available to processors for projects that are designed to do any of the following:

  • Increase production, profitability, processing, marketing, or distribution of Wisconsin dairy products.
  • Increase capital investment in the dairy industry.
  • Apply new technologies related to dairy production.
  • Improve the competitiveness of the Wisconsin dairy industry.
  • Make more efficient use of farmland and other agricultural resources for dairy production.
  • Create or retain jobs in the dairy industry.

Preference may be given for proposals that demonstrate an industry-wide benefit, involve a new process, or show innovation. 

Eligible project expenses include, but are not limited to: 

  • Operating expenses directly related to the grant project, including expenses for salaries and wages, contract and consulting services, and travel (all travel reimbursements must follow state rate requirements)
  • Training costs to improve employee skills (eg. food safety, skills for operating new technology, managerial training, etc.)
  • Equipment rental
  • The purchase of supplies that the full value is ordinarily depreciable within one year and costs less than $5000 (software, etc.)

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible, an applicant must:
• Operate a licensed dairy processing plant engaged in pasteurizing or manufacturing dairy products, or processing dairy products into other dairy products, for sale or distribution that is located in Wisconsin.
• Have a project that will make operational improvements, improve profitability, and/or involve a new process or innovation.
• Have no outstanding state penalties or violations and be in good standing with Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions,
• Not be DATCP Employee or an immediate family member (i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, and children) of a DATCP employee

Ineligible expenses include:
• Real estate purchases.
• Repayment of loans or mortgages.
• Rent or contract payments for time periods extending beyond the term of the grant contract.
• Equipment purchases, meaning items that cost more than $5,000 and the full value of which depreciates over more than one year.
• Administrative or overhead costs not directly related to the grant project.
• Advertising expenses.
• Legal fees.
• Lobbying, fundraising, or other political activity.
• Any costs incurred by any firm for work performed in the preparation of and production of a proposal or for any work performed prior to the formal execution of a contract.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be emailed by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2023.

If you do not have computer access to download and complete the application, contact Ryan Dunn at the phone number listed below.

- RFP is released: October 24, 2022
- Applications due to DATCP: January 30, 2023
- Applications scored and selected by review committee: February 20, 2023
- Selected applications notified by DATCP: March 13, 2023

Matching funds are required at 20 percent of the grant request as part of proposal review. Matching funds expensed during the project must be documented in the same manner as proof of reimbursable grant expenses.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will be awarded for projects up to $50,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants will be awarded for projects up to two years in duration:
- Anticipated project start date: April 1, 2023
- All projects must conclude no later than: March 31, 2025

Contact Information:

Submit the completed application by email to

Ryan Dunn- Grants Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
(608) 590-7239

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
Division of Agricultural Development
2811 Agriculture Dr.
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911

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