The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) board will distribute $32,500 in grants to fund education projects for dairy producers and their communities. The following projects will receive funding for 2015:
• Educational Television Productions of Northeast Wisconsin, in collaboration with Brown County UW Extension, dairy farmers and Wisconsin Public Television. The grant will help fund two dairy worker training videos in English and in Spanish, with the goal of creating a more proactive and prepared dairy community with respect to dairy animal well-being.
• The Clean Lakes Alliance for the Yahara Pride Farms Certification Program. This voluntary, farmer-led initiative encourages the use of effective nutrient management and conservation practices that reduce phosphorus loading to our waterways, improving soil and water quality for both urban and rural communities in the Yahara watershed. It is a non-regulatory certification program which helps farmers identify strengths and weaknesses of their farming systems and nutrient management.
• The Fond du Lac Agriculture Society to enhance their Ag Birthing and Education Center that reaches more than 35,000 people at the Fond du Lac County Fair. Exhibits at the Center tell the dairy story surrounding the miracle of birth.
• The University of Wisconsin Foundation for the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine to support the Dairyland Imitative. Funds will help enhance the web based resource providing educational materials, networking, virtual tours, contacts and tools to ensure that dairy producers have the necessary information to construct welfare friendly facilities for their livestock.
• North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Inc. for the Dairy Challenge Academy. The Academy is an educational program held annually, in conjunction with National Dairy Challenge contest. In 2015, 200 students will learn firsthand how to evaluate dairy profitability and approach management challenges on a dairy farm.
• The Food Armor HACCP for Proper Drug Use program, facilitated by the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association in partnership with Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW). Food Armor is a six-step on farm program with the goal of food safety and responsible use of animal medications. This continuous improvement program solidifies the veterinarian/producer commitment to providing safe meat and milk products to consumers.
• The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition"s Digital Videos for Dairy. Funding supports four videos that will provide consumers with an informative message about dairy farms. The videos will spotlight personal stories and specific incidents with the goal of resolving the empathy divide between consumers and the dairy community.
• The Nebraska 4-H Foundation for the dairy exhibit component of the Nebraska Agricultural Experience, a year round facility for telling the Nebraska agriculture story. The exhibit is designed to let consumers see agriculture from every angle: water conservation to soil health, animal well-being to food safety, invention to innovation, economic impact to feeding the world.
• Maryland Dairy Shrine for educational program support of Maryland Dairy Convention, "Positioning Your Dairy for the Future." The dairy convention seeks to offer new, innovative and cutting edge programming to dairy producers throughout Maryland.
These programs clearly align with the Foundation's mission," said Logan Bower, dairy producer and PDPF board chair. "They provide educational resources that build producer professionalism and maintain public trust in what we do."
Grant are awarded to non-profit organizations sharing PDPF"s passion and vision for education in dairy communities. Grant dollars are available to those organizations with unique ideas in two focus areas: 1) Building producer professionalism, or 2) Maintaining public trust.
Application deadline for the next round of grants is June 1, 2015. Organizations may apply for grants of up to $5,000. For grant criteria and an application package, visit www.dairyfoundation.org.