Dairy processor grants awarded
A college and business partnership has awarded more than a million dollars in dairy processing grants.
The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance is a partnership between the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Twenty-six companies in five states were successful in applying for the competitive grants of up to $50,000 each.
DBIA’s Vic Grassman says from an economic development perspective, the impacts of these grants not only support the award winners but also are a source of new dollars that help boost our local rural economies. Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Executive Director John Umhoefer says while the investments are targeted, the impact is broad, and their goal is industry-wide stability and strength.
The DBIA grant winners are:
1. Associated Milk Producers, Inc., Paynesville, MN
Project Summary: AMPI, a dairy farmer-owned cooperative, is investing in equipment to standardize milk received from area farms at the co-op’s plant in Paynesville, Minnesota. The investment is driven by customer demand for additional varieties of cheese and the co-op’s mission to maximize member returns.
2. Berrybrook Organics, Marion, SD
Project Summary: Berrybrook Organics is a regenerative family farm producing a wide range of goods, including pastured meats and certified organic eggs, commodity crops and dry goods. They plan to build a small licensed creamery on their farm to produce and sell ice cream. The grant will be used to purchase ice cream production equipment.
3. Carr Valley Cheese Company, La Valle, WI
Project Summary: Carr Valley Cheese Company operates dairy manufacturing facilities in southern Wisconsin and strives to develop value added products through the modernization and expansion of the company’s Mauston facility. This facility is currently near capacity and with the expansion will allow the company to keep up with future customer demand. The company will be purchasing a microfiltration system that will allow it to expand capacity and meet increased demand.
4. Cider Farm Brands, LLC dba The Cider Farm, Mineral Point, WI
Project Summary: Cider Farm Brands, LLC produces ciders and brandy from their homegrown organic true cider apples. They intend to pursue a feasibility study to see if the addition of whey protein isolate can be profitably used to extend their product offerings.
5. Cinnamon Ridge, Donahue, IA
Project Summary: Cinnamon Ridge, a family owned dairy farm, makes artisan cheese from milk produced by their Jersey cows. This grant will allow them to purchase additional equipment to help them meet and grow the increased demand for their cheese.
6. Concept Processing, LLC, Melrose, MN
Project Summary: The Schoenberg family established Concept Processing in 2007 as a family owned, vertically integrated creamery and distribution company. They plan to expand their existing product line and are in the process of adding Stony Creek Dairy Half & Half products. The grant award will be used to support the marketing of this new product line.
7. Country View Dairy, LLC, Hawkeye, IA
Project Summary: Country View Dairy, LLC is a farmstead dairy production and processing operation producing yogurt, frozen yogurt, sour cream and fluid milk. This award will allow them to expand production of their farmstead packaged frozen yogurt through the purchase of equipment and product marketing support.
8. Deerland Dairy, Freeport, IL
Project Summary: Deerland Dairy is a farmstead operation that produces yogurts and sour cream made with 100% Jersey milk. Currently, they hand apply labels. The award will help them cover the costs of printing labels directly on the cups/lids for their yogurt and sour cream products, which will help make their business more efficient.
9. Farm Life Creamery, LLC, Ethan, SD
Project Summary: Farm Life Creamery, LLC is a farmstead that uses its own milk to produce a variety of cheeses as well as bottling fluid milk. They would like to expand their product offerings to include value added yogurt and ice cream. This award will help them purchase the equipment to accomplish these goals.
10. GoodSport Nutrition, LLC, Evanston, IL
Project Summary: GoodSport Nutrition recently launched GoodSport, a dairy based sports drink. The company is seeking to complete the funding needed to support scientific research to evaluate the hydration efficacy and performance attributes provided by a dairy (milk permeate) based sports drink as compared to the leading non-dairy based drinks and distilled water. This will provide them will additional scientific research to help establish their product in the marketplace.
11. Holland’s Family Cheese, LLC, Thorp, WI
Project Summary: Holland’s Family Cheese is a farmstead creamery currently producing raw milk Gouda cheese. They would like to be able to provide individually portioned snack package sizes. The award will help them purchase equipment that will allow them to expand in this area.
12. Kasemeister Creamery, Frankfort, SD
Project Summary: Kasemeister Creamery is a farmstead that is currently producing a variety of cheeses such as flavored cheese and cheese curds. They are currently only using about 50% of their milk supply. They would like to be able to produce Mozzarella and Provolone cheese products to utilize more of their milk. The award will help them purchase the necessary equipment.
13. Klemish Creamery, New Auburn, WI
Project Summary: Klemish Farm, a fifth-generation dairy farm, is in the process of establishing Klemish Creamery – an on-farm dairy processing plant to produce frozen dairy products. The award will help them purchase the equipment needed to make value-added frozen products.
14. Landmark Creamery, LLC, Belleville, WI
Project Summary: Landmark Creamery is a woman owned business that produces sheep and goat milk cheese products. They would like to launch a washed rind sheep milk Taleggio-style product and expand their Brebis cheese line. The award will help purchase equipment and provide some temporary salary support for employees focused on these projects.
15. Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative/Monroe Farmers Creamery, Monroe, WI
Project Summary: This project is to provide the key building blocks to reposition the Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative into the Monroe Farmers Creamery who will offer an old-world line of continental cheeses. The award supports this project through paying cheesemaking consultants, the development of an e-commerce platform and product development costs.
16. Millerville Cooperative Creamery Association, Brandon, MN
Project Summary: Millerville Cooperative Creamery Association produces handcrafted, small batch butter and is considering expanding their existing production facility. This award will support a feasibility study that will include a market analysis of their current and future markets and associated new product development opportunities.
17. Moore Family Farms/Moore Local, Maquoketa, IA
Project Summary: Moore Family Farms/Moore Local is a farmstead that produces Cheddar cheese from their herd of Holstein cows, and sells in two retail locations in Eastern Iowa. With the objective of utilizing all their milk produced on the farm, the Moore family is in the process of renovating an industrial building in their hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa into a local foods hub where they will process milk and meat, and sell local food products in an expanded retail area. This award will assist them in purchasing necessary cheese processing equipment.
18. Nature’s Prime dba Khaaza, Hawley, MN
Project Summary: Khaaza, an on-farm dairy processor located in Hawley, Minnesota, is launching a new line of cultured dairy beverages. Khaaza is the result of market research seeking to identify new product opportunities in the dairy beverage area. They will be producing lassi, a beverage similar to a drinkable yogurt, creating a new subcategory so as to not directly compete with the established yogurt brands. The award will help them purchase equipment to achieve this goal.
19. Olala Creamery, LLC (Alpinage), Oak Creek, WI
Project Summary: Olala Creamery, LLC is a dairy manufacturing startup company producing high quality, open air aged Raclette cheese. The award will assist the company in sales support equipment purchases and further training to produce the product.
20. Pasture Pride Cheese, LLC, Cashton, WI
Project Summary: Pasture Pride Cheese, LLC utilizes milk from local Amish dairies in southwestern Wisconsin to craft a variety of cheeses, including JuustoTM cheese. JuustoTM cheese is a trademarked Scandinavian style cheese unique to Pasture Pride Cheese, LLC. This project is to scale up production of High Kosher JuustoTM. The award will assist the company in purchasing equipment to expand the production of this product.
21. Redhead Creamery, LLC, Brooten, MN
Project Summary: Redhead Creamery, LLC produces artisan cheese on Jer-Lindy Farms, a family farm located in Brooten, Minnesota. The creamery seeks to add bottled fluid milk products to its existing cheese lines to meet customer requests and to expand their product diversity. The award will assist them in purchasing the equipment needed to create and sell bottled milk.
22. Royal Guernsey Creamery, LLC, Columbus, WI
Project Summary: Royal Guernsey Creamery, LLC, located on Gurn-Z Meadow Farm, was formed in 2020 to assist the farmstead in diversification by allowing them to produce and sell batch churned cultured butter. The award will help them purchase the equipment to expand their butter making operation.
23. Simple Life Farms, Winterset, IA
Project Summary: Simple Life Farms has been making goat cheese products for almost 10 years, which they sell locally, through their e-commerce site and their on-farm store. They are doubling the size of their dairy and cheese production area. This award will assist them in purchasing equipment to expand their production capabilities.
24. Specialty Cheese Company, Inc., Reeseville, WI
Project Summary: Specialty Cheese Company, Inc. is a premier manufacturer of Paneer cheese, an Indian cheese widely manufactured in India and most of Asia. To increase their export opportunities, the company seeks to produce a lactose free Paneer cheese. The award will support their product development costs and related equipment purchases.
25. Tuls Dairies dba DARI, LLC, Clinton, WI
Project Summary: Tuls Dairies owns and operates dairy farms in Nebraska and Wisconsin. They seek to use some of their Wisconsin produced milk and create a vertically integrated business targeted at producing flavored fluid milk for children. Award funds will be used to support product focused market research and subsequently product focused branding for these flavored milks.
26. Yodelay Yogurt, LLC, Madison, WI
Project Summary: Yodelay Yogurt, LLC manufactures and sells a Swiss type yogurt that has seen significant success regionally, which has led to an expansion of their product capabilities. Along with the expansion of their facility has come the need to purchase more production equipment. The award will assist in reducing the electrical costs in connecting the new equipment.