11 dairy processor grants awarded

Grace Connatser
Wisconsin State Farmer
Nasonville Dairy was among 11 state processors to receive grants from the Wisconsin Dept. of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has awarded their 2020 Dairy Processor Grants to 11 dairy companies across the state.

The grants are awarded to companies who “foster innovation, improve profitability and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsin’s dairy processors.”

The winning companies include Agropur Dairy Cooperative; Moundview Dairy; Cedar Grove Cheese; Henning Cheese; Wisconsin Pride Cheese Company; Holland’s Family Cheese; Yodelay Yogurt; Zimmerman Cheese Company; Arena Cheese; Nasonville Dairy; and Caprine Supreme.

A press release from WDATCP said the state had $200,000 to give out, with $50,000 being the highest award for a single company. The release said the agency received 26 requests for a combined $1 million, of which less than half were awarded. Recipients are also required to match their grant at 20% or more.

The requests for grants vary in purpose. Holland’s Family Cheese and Nasonville Dairy will focus on achieving food safety improvements, while Wisconsin Pride Cheese Company, Zimmerman Cheese Company and Caprine Supreme won grants to build technology that would increase production.

Arena Cheese and Moundview Dairy will work on reverse osmosis and bioremediation systems that help with cleanliness and waste disposal.

Agropur Dairy Cooperative’s grant will pay for a milkfat recovery system that converts it into a product. Henning Cheese and Cedar Grove Cheese are going to focus on tech improvements that provide tracking information and increased production. Yodelay will look at making a transition from handmade boxes to machine-made boxes.

“To be a national and global leader in the dairy industry, our processors have to be exploring new technologies, modernizing facilities, and exploring new ways to adapt and be profitable,” Krista Knigge, administrator for the WDATCP’s Agricultural Development division, said in the release. “These grants are designed to help them accomplish those goals.”