Grant Applications

$4.1 Million Now Available in Dairy Farm Innovation Grants

This cycle of funding closed February 28. More news soon!

Dairy farmers and processors in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington are now invited to apply for funding to become more competitive and innovative in today’s industry. In its second cycle of grant awards, the Pacific Coast Coalition Dairy Business Initiative (PCC-DBII), hosted by California State University, Fresno, will award funding to assist in dairy product development, production, marketing and distribution.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has selected California State University, Fresno to provide one of four national Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives. Our program, the Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation (PCC-DBII) has been granted funds to provide educational programming, technical assistance, and subawards (direct-to-business grants).

Applicants can apply for grant funding on a reimbursable basis. If not all subaward funds designated are committed in this request for applications, then any remaining dollars will be added to subsequent funding request opportunities.

The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBII) program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service both via a line item budget designation as well as CARES Act 2022. The program was developed to assist regional efforts to support dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products. These initiatives serve to:

  • Diversify dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher value uses for
    dairy products,
  • Promote business development that diversifies farmer income through processing
    and marketing innovation, and
  • Encourage the use of regional milk production.

PCC-DBII subawards are focused on processing and value-added innovations as well as economic sustainability. Applications may be submitted by prospective or current dairy businesses in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and/or Washington.

Award Categories and Application Steps
Here are the reimbursable grant award categories, estimated number of awards within each
category, and application steps.

Reimbursable Grant Award CategoriesEstimated Number of AwardsApplication Step(s)
Up to $50,0004 minimum1. Application Form
Up to $100,0004 minimum1. Application Form
Up to $250,0003 minimum1. Application Form
Up to $500,0001-31. Application Form = preproposal
2. Invitation Only Presentation/Interview with Reviewers
Up to $1,000,0001-21. Application Form = preproposal
2. Invitation Only Presentation/Interview with Reviewers

$650,000 targeting innovation and economic sustainability

1$3,500,000 CARES Act funds available for economic recovery and sustainability ROUND 2 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDABLE: $4,150,000

1Awards made possible by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 03 January 2022.

Fundable Areas of Focus

Subaward applications for prospective or current dairy businesses provided by the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program must focus on one or more of the following areas:

  1. Developing new dairy value-added products, including among others, culturally diverse and ethnic value-added dairy products to meet evolving consumer trends in the region.
  2. Adapting current dairy products and creating new value-added products to meet evolving consumer “wants,” to meet both domestic and export demand trends.
  3. Developing new product lines and expanding the dairy product portfolio to meet domestic and/or export demand for fresh milk and milk products.
  4. Expanding milk usage beyond food and drink, for example packaging/films, edible products for companion animals, cosmetics, and other high-value segments. Note: Dairy producer(s) and/or processor(s) may need to partner with non-dairy entity(ies) to address this goal.
  5. Adding value to milk by increasing its intrinsic value through differentiation production system/feed additives for nutritional enhancement, and fractionation of components.
  6. Adopting alternative processing technologies for value-added dairy products, optimization, and/or recovery of high-value co-streams to increase the profitability of the dairy sector.
  7. Creating future opportunities for value-added ingredients and nutritional powders, milk fat products, and specialty blends, and decreasing the dependence on commodity markets.
  8. Developing sustainability leadership through innovation in packaging, processing efficiencies, reduced losses/waste, and novel uses of coproducts (net-zero dairy processing plants). Note: Dairy producer and/or processor applicant(s) may need to partner with non-dairy entity(ies) to address this goal)
  9. Extending awareness and consumption of higher value dairy processing products through communications, strategic planning, marketing plans, and expanding hands-on agritourism.
Eligible Reimbursement Expenses

This is a reimbursement program and awarded businesses will be reimbursed upon presentation of invoices/receipts for approved projects. Appropriate documentation (including copies of paid receipts) of each expense must be provided when requesting reimbursement.

No matching funds are required.

Eligible expenses are:

  • funding to modernize, specialize, expand, investigate and/or market the use of regionally produced milk to higher-value products with a focus on innovation, to purchase dairy processing equipment and packaging for new products
  • funding to improve or add value to products; commodity innovation and/or facility and process updates for dairy processors
  • funding to improve or add dairy product development, packaging, and marketing
  • funding for consultancy services to develop planning documents: feasibility study, business plan or marketing plan that will be useful in determining the likelihood of success in the marketplace, or to develop a new distribution channel
  • funding for product development services: recipe development, sensory evaluation, packaging performance, shelf-life studies (including services from partner institutions: Fresno State, Washington State University, Oregon State University, Cal Poly Humboldt, Chico State, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, Chapman University, and the California Dairy Innovation Center)
  • funding to attend training programs and short courses to acquire skills needed to develop or market dairy products.

DBI Allowable and Unallowable Costs