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Submissions for Second Round of Dairy Business Innovation Initiative Funding Due February 28, 2023

Press release provided by California Dairy Innovation Center

California producers and processors are invited to apply for funding up to $1 million for innovation initiatives to become more competitive in a second round of dairy business grant awards recently announced by the Pacific Coast Coalition’s Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII), hosted by California State University Fresno.

The PCC-DBII will award funding to assist with innovative dairy product development, production, marketing, and distribution. Dr. Carmen Licon, Project Director and Assistant Professor in Food Science and Nutrition at Fresno State said grants will range from $50,000 to $1 million with the potential for up to 12 projects selected for funding. Application forms and submission details are available at with a deadline to submit by February 28, 2023.

“This second set of grants is larger in size and has the potential for major impact on our California dairy business community,” said John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board. “The scale of available funding allows larger processors to apply for new-to-market projects, while smaller operations and farmstead producers can still apply for projects that will allow them to add value to their milk by developing new products, testing new processes and evaluating the feasibility of packaging innovations.” 

CMAB’s California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC), a major partner in the Coalition, has resources to guide qualified California dairy businesses to take advantage of this opportunity. Information and assistance is available by contacting Veronique Lagrange, Director of the CDIC at 

Funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, DBII program-funded initiatives focus on product, process and packaging innovation and serve to:

• 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.

Grants are available to anyone operating a dairy farm or dairy processing plant in California but focus on product, process, packaging innovation for dairy manufacturing. This includes feasibility studies and workforce training. Proposals can include requests for funding for qualified equipment, feasibility studies, innovation in packaging as well as training of the workforce. This is a reimbursement program with applicants reimbursed upon presentation of invoices/receipts for approved projects. 

The CDIC’s Steering Committee, which includes representatives of California Dairies Inc., California Dairy Research Foundation, California Milk Advisory Board, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dairy Management Inc., Fresno State University, Hilmar Cheese, Leprino Foods, and UC Davis assisted in the thorough review process and recommended funding applications based on objective criteria. 


About the California Dairy Innovation Center

The California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC) coordinates pre-competitive research and educational training in collaboration with industry, check-off programs, and research/academic institutions in support of a common set of innovation and productivity goals. The CDIC is guided by a Steering Committee that includes California Dairies Inc., California Dairy Research Foundation, California Milk Advisory Board, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dairy Management Inc., Fresno State University, Hilmar Cheese, Leprino Foods, and UC Davis. 

About the Pacific Coast Coalition Dairy Business Initiative (PCC-DBII)

The PCC-DBII is funded through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and hosted by California State University, Fresno in collaboration with Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chapman University, Chico State, Oregon State University, UC Davis, Washington State University, and the California Dairy Innovation Center. For more information:

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