The Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (SDBII), with support from USDA AMS, offers grants to dairy businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. The program provides grant awards to revitalize and spur innovation in the dairy industry across the Southeast. This includes grants to support precision technology investment, farm infrastructure improvement, specialty processing equipment investment, exploration of alternative revenue, transition planning, and business management.
Below are some general FAQs to aid with grant writing and questions of what may or may not be funded.
Program Contacts & Resources
Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, & Louisiana
Shep Stearns & Liz Eckelkamp: email@example.com
Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia, & West Virginia
Jennifer Hickerson: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, & Mississippi
Brittany Whitmire & Stephanie Ward: email@example.com
Grant Writing Tutorial
View a grant writing tutorial from our sister program at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Research here
One of the following conditions MUST be met to be eligible to apply for funding through the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program:
- Diversify dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher value uses for dairy products;
- Promote business development that diversifies farmer income through processing and marketing innovation; and
- Encourage the use of regional milk production.
This subaward program (direct-to-business grants) is intended for existing or prospective dairy businesses. Dairy Businesses are those that that develop, produce, market, or distribute dairy products.
Subawards will only be made to prospective or current dairy businesses. Successful applications must focus on one or more of the following areas.
- Beginning Processor and/or Specialty Equipment Investment Grant
- Diversify dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher uses for dairy products
- Promote business development that diversifies farmer income through processing and marketing innovation
- Encourage the use of regional milk production
- Value-chain and commodity innovation and facility and process updates for dairy process
- Product development, packaging, and marketing of dairy products
- Precision Technology and Management Grants
- Improve animal health, well-being, and/or performance
- Enhance labor efficiency
- Reduce energy costs or environmental impact (i.e. carbon-footprint or GHG emissions)
- Increase utilization of the farm’s land base
- Farm Infrastructure Improvement Grants
- Improvements to existing facilities to reduce the impact of heat stress and seasonal milk production swings
- Investments in raw milk storage, cooling capacity, and/or transportation efficiency
- Modernization and improvements to milk harvest
- Improvements to feed and forage management and storage opportunities
- Improvements to animal housing and environments
- Water, waste, and manure management improvements
- Investments to improve farm business structure