Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant

Grant Overview

This grant program is now closed.

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant program to address the significant need for investment in processing infrastructure in the Northeast. This grant will only fund existing dairy processing facilities located in the Northeast region with a focus on expanding utilization of regionally sourced milk, dairy components, and/or dairy mix, and diversifying the supply chain.

Projects funded through this grant will focus primarily on acquiring specialized equipment needed to increase processing capacity through volume expansion and existing product line expansion. Additional activities related to training, marketing, or supply chain logistics that directly support increased production capacity may be included.

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.

Multiple tiers of grant funding ranges will be available to processors at a variety of sizes. Processors may apply in one of three grant tiers based on their scale.

Applications for Tiers 1 & 2 are closed.

Applications for Tier 3 are closed.

Funding Tiers

Applicants will qualify into tiers outlined below based on milk utilized on an average production day, regardless of the number of days per week they process. Volume may differ based on the product made and processors should reference the volume measurement for their specific product. Volume is a measurement of inputs and not finished products. For purposes of this grant, milk means fluid milk, dairy components, and/or dairy mix.

Table showing Tiers 1, 2, and 3 for the Dairy Processor Expansion Grant, with volume of milk utilized, award range, and total funds available per tier.

Tiers 1 & 2 have a multi-stage process, beginning with a pre-application. Tier 3 processors will submit a single-stage application. 

Examples of tier qualification:

  • A yogurt manufacturer buys in 125,000 pounds of skim milk and 10,000 pounds of cream for an average production day. This processor would qualify for Tier 1.
  • A producer-processor bottles only milk from their farm with an average daily volume of 25,000 pounds. This processor would qualify for Tier 2.
  • A cheese processor buys in 1,250 pounds of milk for an average production day. This processor would qualify for Tier 2. However, the piece of equipment they would like to source is $50,000 so they may apply into the lower Tier 3 to access lower amounts of grant funds.
  • A butter processor buys in 50 pounds of cream for an average production day. This processor would qualify for Tier 3.

If an applicant qualifies into a higher tier but the award range is higher than their project costs, they may apply into a lower tier.

A total of $12,000,000 in grant funds is available: approximately $6,000,000 for Tier 1, $4,000,000 for Tier 2, and $2,000,000 for Tier 3. 

Eligibility

Licensed dairy processors located in the Northeast region of the United States may apply for this grant if they both 1) process regionally sourced milk within the Northeast and 2) are compliant with all required state and federal standards. If the business is not headquartered in the Northeast but has processing facilities in the region, they may apply for grant funds to support regionally located plants. Funds may be used to support the renewal of operations at a dairy processing plant that is currently not producing product. The plant must be currently or previously licensed. 

How to Apply

This grant will be split into multiple funding tiers to accommodate processors of all scales. Smaller award ranges will apply in a single round application process. Larger awards will be required to participate in a multi-stage application process. Final award decisions will be made for all funding tiers concurrently.

  1. Review the full Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant RFA (request for applications) for the complete details on eligible projects/applicants:
  2. Register in WebGrants (may take up to two business days).
  3. Complete your application in WebGrants using our Application Guide.

Have a Question about this Grant?

Have a question? Contact Laura Ginsburg or Kathryn Donovan.

Informational Webinar: March 15, 2023 11:00 – 11:45

In this webinar registrants learned details about the three tiers of processors, eligible projects, how to apply, and had the opportunity to ask the Grant Program Managers questions. 

You can view a recording of the webinar here:

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