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Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiative

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, and Cooperative
Extension Services to Support Dairy Businesses

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Deadline Date:

08/30/21 11:59 PM EDT Receipt


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, state entities, IHEs, and cooperative extension services to support dairy businesses. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to provide support to dairy businesses in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products.

Initiatives are expected to provide direct technical assistance and make sub-grants to dairy businesses. Initiatives must be positioned to draw on existing dairy industry resources, including dairy farm density and suitability, as well as activities conducted by dairy promotion and research programs (authorized by the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 and the Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990), research organizations, dairy businesses, or academic or industry stakeholders. Initiatives may serve a certain product niche, such as specialty cheese, or serve dairy businesses with dairy products derived from the milk of a specific type of dairy animal, including dairy products made from cow milk, sheep milk, and goat milk.

These initiatives specifically focus on:

  • Diversifying dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher-value uses for dairy products.
  • Promoting business development that diversifies farmer income through processing and marketing innovation.
  • Encouraging the use of regional milk production.

Direct Technical Assistance

Initiatives will provide direct technical assistance to dairy businesses. Direct technical assistance includes nonmonetary assistance to dairy businesses through either private consultation or widely available distribution. Technical assistance may be provided directly through the host Initiative or through other partners or collaborators such as industry experts or research institutions, including cooperative extension services.

Subawards to Dairy Businesses

Initiatives will facilitate and have operational responsibility to carry out a subaward program with at least 50 percent of the awarded funds. 

For more information about forms of assistance and subawards, see

Priority Consideration

AMS will prioritize applications that:

  • Are in and serve a U.S. geographic area that is not currently served by the existing Initiatives.
  • Are inclusive of serving dairy businesses in multiple states.
  • Have a diverse set of relevant project partners, including representation of historically underserved entities such as socially disadvantaged and/or beginning dairy farmers and ranchers, although such partners need not be based in the initiative’s geographic region.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197538

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Each initiative will receive approximately $600,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed within 3 years. The project period must begin no later than October 31, 2021 and end no later than October 30, 2024.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible entities include:
- State departments of agriculture or other state entities,
- Cooperative extension services,
- Institutions of higher education, and
- Nonprofit organizations.

Entities must have the capacity to provide consultation and the expertise necessary to advance the purpose and activities of DBI, including expertise in subaward competition, funds distribution and monitoring, to be considered eligible for this program.

Dairy promotion programs are not eligible to host an initiative.

All applicants must be domestic entities owned, operated, and located within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or Tribal Governments.

An applicant may subcontract or subaward with partners and collaborators. Only the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements listed in this RFA. Project partners and collaborators do not need to meet the eligibility requirements provided above.

Partners and collaborators may come from private or public, for‐profit or nonprofit entities. Applicants must show evidence of existing community or industry support and engagement.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 30, 2021, through

AMS encourages applicants to submit their application at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

At least 50 percent of the funds of a grant to a host Initiative must be allocated to subawards.

Recipients are expected to attend an AMS sponsored grants management meeting during the project’s period of performance. The proposed budget should include travel funds for the Project Coordinator and any additional key personnel as reasonably determined by the recipient and AMS.

The applicant organization registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, complete your registration allowing enough time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Obtain a DUNS Number: All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Apply for a DUNS number:

Register with SAM: In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM to apply online. Register with System for Award Management (

Create a Account: The next step in the registration process is to create an account with ( Applicants must know their organization's DUNS number to complete this process.


How to apply on

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

After closely reviewing this RFA in its entirety, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact the DBI staff by e-mail with questions about the grant program at

Applicants may call the 24/7 toll-free support number 1-800-518-4726, or email will issue a ticket number to which the applicant and can refer if the issue is not resolved.

Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives
USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 2055 South Building
Stop 0201
Washington, DC 20250-0264

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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