Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) announced this weekend that Wisconsin has received $2 million from USDA that will be used to help give the state’s dairy sector a big boost and fund (in part) the state’s “Value Added Dairy Initiative.” The initiative includes an interagency dairy team and creates a new Dairy Business Innovation Center to assist specialty and niche cheese makers expand their businesses.

The initiative focuses on two areas: Helping dairy producers modernize and add value to their milk, and supporting the state’s growing specialty cheese business.

Technical assistance will be available to producers and processors for product development, business planning and market development. Grant money will be available to help producers and processors — qualifying criteria will be announced next month.

Wisconsin Farm Report, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune