The grants are designed to foster innovation, improve profitability, and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsin's dairy processing facilities.
“Dairy processors are key to bolstering Wisconsin's position as a national and global leader in the dairy industry," said Randy Romanski, DATCP Secretary-designee.
“Our processors need to constantly innovate and adapt to changing times. These grants are designed to help processors accomplish those goals and continue contributing to Wisconsin's thriving dairy industry."
A total of $200,000 was available for this year's Dairy Processor Grants, with a maximum $50,000 allowed for each project. DATCP received 18 grant requests, totaling more than $630,000. As part of the 2021-2023 biennial budget, Governor Tony Evers proposed increasing the available funding for the grants to $600,000 each year to address the need for additional support to the dairy industry.
Grant recipients are required to provide a match of at least 20% of the grant amount. The grant recipients and their planned projects are:
Caprine Supreme – Black Creek
Installation of an additional walk-in cooler for product storage.
Carr Valley Cheese Co. – La Valle
Creation of an equipment room and tank access hallway.
Chalet Cheese – Monroe
Installation of a new separator and cream tank.
Clock Shadow Creamery – Milwaukee
Rental of a packaging machine for two years to increase capacity.
Decatur Dairy – Brodhead
Purchase of engineering involved in building a warehouse that will store product.
Foremost Farms – Baraboo
Hiring of a consultant to explore options for new cheeses and line extensions.
Henning Cheese – Kiel
Installation of an inline packaging machine.
Highfield Farm Creamery – Walworth
Placement of PVC curtain strips, purchasing cheese molds, and the installation of ceiling insulation above three aging rooms, a used COP tank, and a small brine tank.
K&K Cheese – Cashton
Hiring of a consultant to help determine the best type and configuration of LED lighting for facility and purchasing of the lights.
Maple Leaf Cheese – Monroe
Creation of a marketing program and business framework for including a more diverse production and distribution system.
Nasonville Dairy – Marshfield
Engineering of steam systems, updating of equipment including cheese vats and finishing tables, and the addition of one cheese tower.
Rolling Hills Dairy – Monroe
Diversification to re-define role and offer quality cheese in a farm-to-table theme.
Uplands Cheese – Dodgeville
Purchase of multi-functional block molds and engineering a refurbished elevated vat.
Widmers Cheese – Theresa
Hiring of a consultant to help transition the business to the next generation and upgrade to the mail order system.
Zimmerman Cheese – South Wayne
Hiring of a consultant for a GFSI audit and providing classes for employees to obtain or further cheese making licenses.