$80M in rescue funds to support dairy industry innovation

(WMTV/Sanika Bhargaw)
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 3:11 PM CST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont have announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is assigning $80 million in federal pandemic rescue funds to support dairy industry innovation.

The country’s four Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives in Vermont, California, Tennessee and Wisconsin will have access to up to $20 million each.

“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy and with all the challenges they face I’m working to do everything I can to help,” Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin said. “As our dairy economy faces supply chain challenges, this federal funding from USDA for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives will help Wisconsin dairy businesses to address those challenges, grow their business, modernize their dairy plants and reach new markets.”

Leahy says the additional funding couldn’t arrive a better time, as organic farmers in the Northeast face the loss of a key market later this year.

Danone announced this past summer that it would stop buying milk from 89 organic dairy farms in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New York.

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