Announcing $465,000 in Dairy Food Safety Grant Awards

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is pleased to the Dairy Food Safety & Certification Grant Awards.  

Projects from this grant will allow dairy farmers and processors to take actionable steps to increase their food safety protocols and improve marketability.  These projects include installing specialized equipment to reduce barriers to food safety, developing enhanced food safety plans, and expanding staff food safety training.   

Twelve dairy businesses from across five states were selected for awards.  Individual award amounts will range from $11,056 to $50,000, with a total of $465,256 in overall funding.   

This grant is expected to open again in winter 2025.  Learn more about the Dairy Food Safety & Certification Grant, and sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out about the next round. 

The following businesses have been selected for awards: 

Argyle Cheese Factory of New York – $37,714 to work with a food safety specialist to improve their food safety, environmental monitoring, and milk testing programs, in collaboration with a partner processor also improving their food safety programs. 

Berle Farm of New York – $49,614 to expand their production to include pasteurized cheeses, with the purchase and installation of a new vat-pasteurizer, upgrades to their heating and cooling equipment, and new cheese press and forms.     

Brigeen Farms of Maine – $30,125 to purchase and install new systems in a new milkhouse, which will reduce barriers to sanitation and increase process flow efficiencies.  

Cayuga Milk Ingredients of New York – $50,000 to transition their manual traceability system to an automated system integrated with their electronic process control system, resulting in improved reliability and efficiency of traceability. 

Cricket Creek Farm of Massachusetts – $50,000 to improve food safety in their production facility by addressing impediments to their food safety protocols, expanding staff training at all levels, and preparing for and successfully completing a third-party audit. 

Anonymous Cheese Maker of Pennsylvania – $39,362 to work with a food safety consultant to update and streamline the food safety plans for each of their products into product groups, create an internal quality assurance position in their creamery staff with the training necessary to maintain and implement food safety systems, and undergo a third-party food safety audit.  

Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association – $37,450 to work with a third-party food safety expert to create an internal, dedicated Food Safety Culture Team to prioritize enhancements to their existing food safety programs and support ongoing improvements. 

Middle Road Creamery of New York – $27,361 to replace their inefficient 10-gallon vat-pasteurizer with a new 50-gallon vat-pasteurizer, allowing them more flexibility in their goat- and cow-milk cheese and gelato production volumes and streamlining their pasteurization process. They will also install a commercial dishwasher, reducing barriers to sanitation in their production. 

Rolling Bale Farm of Vermont – $44,022 to make upgrades to their farmstead butter-making infrastructure, including converting their bucket milking system to a closed pipeline system with a plate cooler and clean-in-place (CIP) system, installing a new bulk tank for raw milk storage, upgrading their cream storage from plastic totes to a bulk tank, and replacing two pasteurizers with one new vat-pasteurizer. These improvements will reduce food safety risks and increase effectiveness and efficiency of sanitation, supporting an increase in production. 

SweetLand Farm of Maine – $50,000 to purchase and install a new bulk tank and water heater, which will improve milk cooling and reducing barriers to sanitation of the milking system. 

Vale Wood Farms of Pennsylvania – $30,000 to replace a cream balance jar with a new process pipework system, replace temporary piping to connect an existing raw cream tank into their processing system, and make improvements to the layout of their creamery space.  This will allow them to tie new and existing systems into a Clean-in-Place system and reduce barriers to sanitation in their creamery.   

Valley Milkhouse of Pennsylvania – $11,055 to strengthen their food safety systems by establishing an in-house lab for antibiotic residue testing, sending staff to antibiotic testing and PCQI training, implementing a protocol for environmental and product testing, and working with a food safety consultant to evaluate current systems and implement new food safety plans.   

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