Wisconsin offers new Dairy 30x20 processor grants
Wisconsin dairy processors can now benefit from ”Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20” grants, just as dairy farmers have been doing over the past two years. Processors can now apply for these grants to foster innovation, improve profitability and facilitate operational changes.

The Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Processor Grant is customizable for each processor. Eligible applicants must operate a licensed dairy processing plant engaged in pasteurizing, processing or manufacturing milk or dairy products that is, or will be, located in Wisconsin.

Grants may be up to $50,000 per proposal. The applicant must provide at least 20% of the total grant award as a matching contribution. Funds may be used for operating expenses, employee training, equipment rental or equipment purchase, as long as the full value is ordinarily depreciable within one year.

Application deadline is Feb. 21. Recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process. Wis. Act 20 provided an annual appropriation of $200,000 for dairy processing grants.

Additional information and the application are available online at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov. For more information, call toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY (855-943-2479) or email GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov.

Murphy named to WMMB post
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) named Brenda Murphy to the post of director of Producer Communications and Programs. Murphy spent seven years with Accelerated Genetics in Baraboo, Wis. before joining Agri-View, where served as sales and marketing manager and managing editor for the weekly agricultural newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lives in Poynette.

WMMB launches new ‘Mac and Cheese’ website
In celebration of National Cheese Lover's Day, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board launched a new website dedicated to All Things Mac and Cheese.

The new website includes more than 100 recipes that range from simple stovetop variations to creative gourmet options. Home cooks can find recipes for a wide range of any add-in ingredient they have on hand, whether it's seasonal vegetables, sausage, bacon or seafood. The eclectic collection includes recipes such as Crab & Asiago Mac and Cheese; Monte Cristo Mac and Cheese Nuggets; and Raclette Mac and Cheese.

A tips section offers information for mastering the art of mac and cheese with preparation and cooking advice.

New recipes will be added to the site every month. January's featured collection is "Wisconsin Style" –recipes created by Wisconsin food bloggers and home cooks, including Creamy Four Cheese Mac with Bacon.

South Dakota Dairy Princess candidates sought
The Midwest Dairy Association South Dakota Division is seeking candidates to participate in the State Dairy Princess contest, scheduled for March 24-25, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel in Sioux Falls.  The event is held in conjunction with the Central Plains Dairy Expo and Convention.

The South Dakota Dairy Princess reigns for one year as the official goodwill ambassador for the state’s dairy industry, making a variety of public appearances to help consumers understand dairy products and the responsible practices used by dairy producers.  The new princess will be South Dakota’s 59th State Dairy Princess.

Young women from 17-23 years old with a strong interest in and affiliation with the dairy industry are eligible.  Candidates must be a high school graduate or graduating in 2014 and unmarried.  Judging is based on communication skills, personality, general knowledge of the dairy industry and enthusiasm for dairy promotion.

The 2014 South Dakota Dairy Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Midwest Dairy Association.  A $500 scholarship from the Central Plains Dairy Expo will be awarded to the first runner-up.  All candidates competing in the 2014 South Dakota Dairy Princess contest will receive a $250 scholarship.

Entry deadline is Feb. 28. For complete rules and an application form, visit midwestdairycheckoff.com or contact Seena Glessing, dairy princess consultant, Midwest Dairy Association, 8554 Grover Ave. SW, Waverly, MN 55390 or phone 320-282-6337, or email seena.glessing@gmail.com.