Ten Wisconsin dairy companies have been named recipients of Dairy Processor Grants through a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection program intended to foster innovation, improve profitability and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsin’s dairy processing facilities.
A total of $200,000 was available for the 2019 Dairy Processor Grants, with a maximum $50,000 allowed for each project. Grant recipients are required to provide a match of at least 20 percent of the grant amount.
DATCP received 14 grant requests totaling about $350,000. Through a competitive review process, 10 dairy processors were selected to receive a total of $200,000.
Nasonville Dairy near Marshfield received $42,000 to help fund food safety and facility modernization projects, including adding a brining system for its feta cheese line and to hire a consultant to perform the annual food safety audit.
Cooperative Regions of Organic Producers Pools (CROPP-Organic Valley) received $28,569 to develop a high-protein, lower-fat cheese snack product to improve surplus milk utilization and profitability.
Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Theresa, received $27,500 to develop a new brick curd-cutting device and develop new cheese packaging. Widmer’s also will use the grant funds to add increased automation in the company’s current brick cheesemaking process.
Sassy Cow Creamery, Columbus, received $20,000, with grant funds earmarked for a project designed to explore bulk packaging for selling milk to schools.
Chalet Cheese Cooperative, Monroe, received $20,000 to develop a new technique to create two-pound wheels of Baby Swiss, a technique which could spread to other types of cheese.
Specialty Cheese Co., Reeseville, received $15,000 and plan on using the grant funds for a facility modernization project enabling automated production of paneer cheese. Monies will be budgeted for engineering design of the layout of the new automated equipment in the plant.
Westby Cooperative Creamery received $15,000 for a pilot bulk yogurt dispensary project in schools, a project which has potential for other institutional buyers.
Rosewood Dairy, Algoma, received $15,000 and will utilize the grant funds for a renovation project at their existing cheesemaking plant which will allow for cheese to be cut and stored in the plant, work currently performed at other facilities about 15 miles away. The expansion also will allow for developing additional lines of string cheese and a new Brie line.
Eckerman Sheep Company/Phlox Farms, Antigo, received $11,931 and will use the funds for advertising and promotional materials designed to educate the public at trade shows and farmers markets about sheep cheeses.
Bifrost Farms Creamery, Boyceville, received $5,000 for a facility modernization/expansion project designed to expand production capacity, including adding two aged cheeses to the creamery’s current fresh cheese products.