The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) can help dairy farmers modernize their facilities, update their business plans or make their operations more profitable through the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative.
In addition to offering advice and technical assistance, DATCP is accepting applications for financial assistance through March 15.
Dairy farmers with a plan, a purpose and 20 percent in matching funds could possibly be awarded up to $5,000 to make those plans a reality. All Wisconsin dairy farmers are eligible to apply.
"The purpose for Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 is to provide the support, technical expertise and assistance for dairy farmers, of all types and sizes, to improve farm management, facilitate operational changes and increase profitability," said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel. "Ultimately, that will help us reach the goal of producing 30 billion pounds of milk a year by 2020 to meet the growing marketplace demand for quality Wisconsin milk."
Gov. Scott Walker announced the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative last March. Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 was formed after discussions between dairy industry leaders from across the state when funding was transferred to DATCP from the former Department of Commerce's Dairy 2020 program.
Assistance is provided by 30x20 teams in two areas: Planning & Preparation and Dairy Profit.
The Planning and Preparation Teams work with farmers who are considering change in business structure, investment in facilities or modernization and expansion.
Dairy Profit Teams support the farmer making changes in how they operate whether it is forming a nutrition plan, managing herd health, planning for managed grazing, transitioning to organic, implementing new technology, or meeting environmental challenges.
"We can be a 'one stop shop' that connects dairy farmers with the services that are available through local, state and federal agencies and private consultants supporting dairy farmers," added Brancel. "The goal for these services is to meet the growing demand in the marketplace for high quality Wisconsin milk by helping farmers with decisions related to profitability and ways to increase overall milk production."
Guidelines and application materials for the current round of financial assistance are available at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov.
Contact the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Team toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY or 855-943-2479. Dairy farmers can also use the email address Grow