New Dairy Processor Start-up Grant

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the New Dairy Processor Start-up Grant program. Grant funds will be available to dairy farmers looking to diversify by adding processing to their operation. Non-farm applicants are eligible to start up dairy processing businesses if they have established a business entity prior to applying and can demonstrate strong experience in dairy processing and value-added business start-up. Those who have started up dairy processing businesses after January 1, 2023 are eligible to apply.  

Funds may be used to purchase specialized dairy processing equipment and/or supplies, increase food safety, marketing and branding, market access, and/or product development. Construction costs cannot be covered by grant funds, but can be included as match. 

Applicants will be required to utilize technical assistance or training as a subset of their funds in their projects. Applicants are strongly encouraged to engage in technical assistance such as business planning, market research, or other relevant pre-work ahead of applying.   

Awards 

Grants will range from $15,000 -$75,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required.   

Total funds available: $500,000 

Eligibility 

Grants are available to applicants in all Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  

To be eligible for this grant, applicants must fall into at least one of the following categories: 

  1. Dairy farmer (producer) that: 
    • is headquartered or based in the Northeast; and  
    • produces milk within the Northeast; and  
    • is a licensed dairy operation in compliance with all required state and/federal standards  
  2. Non-farm applicants that:
    • have a business entity prior to applying  
    • can demonstrate strong experience in dairy processing and value-added business start-up.  

Applicants who have started up dairy processing businesses after January 1, 2023 are eligible to apply. 

How to Apply 

  • Once it is released, review the full 2024 New Dairy Processor Start-up Grant RFA (request for applications) for the complete details on eligible projects/applicants and the application process. The RFA is expected to be released in July 2024. 
  • Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days).  
  • Once it is open, complete your application in WebGrants using our Application Guide. The application period is expected to open in July to September 2024. 
  • Applicants who do not already have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) through SAM.gov are strongly encouraged to start this process during the application period to ensure a timely start to their grant, if awarded.  

Have a Question about this Grant? 

Have a question? Contact Ali Boochever.

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