For dairy producers who are looking to improve cow comfort, milk production per cow or overall efficiency on the farm, the Center for Dairy Excellence is opening a new Dairy Excellence Grant program.
Leveraging funds provided through the state of Pennsylvania, this is a competitive grant program that offers up to 50% grants — with a maximum matching level of $5,000 — to dairy farms approved into the program. Grant applications will be accepted from March 1 to 31, with selections made and winning applicants notified by April 25.
“With so many dairy producers looking to make improvements on their operations, the Dairy Excellence Grant will help support enhancements that can make a real difference toward achieving your goals related to milk production, cow comfort and profitability,” says Melissa Anderson, programs and operations manager at the center. “This is a competitive grant with a limited window to apply, so we encourage producers to apply when the program opens on March 1.”
Improvement projects can include anything related to improving dairy farm efficiency, cow comfort, milking facilities, housing facilities or feeding systems. The project should focus on improving milk production per cow or enhancing overall farm profitability and efficiency.
Examples of projects might include:
- fans, sprinklers or misters in freestall or tiestall barns
- curtains or other ventilation improvements
- mattresses or construction to move to deep-bedded sand stalls
- variable-speed pulsation
- cow brush or foot bath installation
To participate in the program, dairy farms must complete an application. A $100 application fee is required upon submission, but will be reimbursed if the application is not accepted. As part of the application process, dairy producers will be required to:
- know their cost of production
- be compliant with the National FARM Program or a similar program
- have a conservation and nutrient management plan in place
- list two consultants or advisers who work with their farm (nutritionist, accountant, veterinarian, etc.)
- explain how the improvement will help their overall operation and aid in milk production per cow, efficiency or cow comfort
Grant recipients will be notified by April 25, and expenses and invoices must be submitted by June 30.