Senator Baldwin optimistic about ag appropriations & dairy innovation funding
The ag appropriations bill recently introduced in the House has additional dollars for the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance program.
Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin chairs the House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee, which put the 2023 funding bill together. She tells Brownfield the last farm bill funded the initial program, and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack assigned 20 million in American Rescue Act dollars equally to each of four regions, but the committee added another five million. “The great news is that our bill allows 25 million dollars to go into helping farmers innovate, and processors innovate, and that could be efficiencies or new products. There’s all sorts of ways in which those dollars can be applied to help add value.”
Baldwin says the innovation grants are helping both producers and processors add value to their products and helping people in challenging times. “You work 24-7 and you don’t always get a price that helps you break even or make a profit. The Dairy Business Innovation Act has really assisted farmers in diversifying and managing risk in new ways.”
The ag appropriations bill still has to be approved by the full Congress, and Baldwin says this bill was done earlier than usual so she’s optimistic this bill will pass without delay this fall.