WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Representative Becca Balint (VT-AL) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) investment of more than $7 million in the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center, housed within the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Innovation Center, which was a priority of former Senator Patrick Leahy established in the 2018 Farm Bill, supports small and mid-sized dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products. This funding will help Vermont and regional dairy producers increase sales, open new markets, create jobs, and expand infrastructure.
“Vermont’s dairy farmers have always played an essential role in our state’s culture and local economies, and it’s no secret that the last few years have been especially difficult for our farmers and farm workers,” said the Vermont Congressional Delegation in a joint statement. “This federal investment will bring much-needed support to help this industry succeed by supporting innovations in development, marketing, and production. We will continue to work together to fight for our world-class Vermont dairy producers in the upcoming Farm Bill.”
“These investments are supporting our rural communities,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets. “This program works for farmers and processors. Thank you, USDA and the Vermont delegation for supporting our farmers.”
“The influx of an additional $7 million will allow the NE-DBIC to continue to make critical investments in the region’s dairy sector,” says Laura Ginsburg, Dairy Development and Innovation Lead at Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center. “These funds give us the capacity to invest in foundational needs for farmers and processors for the next three years, giving businesses the ability to plan and apply for projects that will strengthen their operations. The NE-DBIC is looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding and to supporting the region’s dairy community.”
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is one of this year’s recipients of the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives grant program. The federal funding will be used to provide valuable technical and financial assistance to dairy farmers and farm businesses across north-central Vermont, supporting them with business plan development, marketing, and branding, as well as increasing access to innovative production and processing techniques to support the development of value-added products.
For more information, visit the AMS Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives webpage.