Dairy Decisions Consultants Grants Are Available to Dairy Farm Families
Dairy producers are encouraged to apply for the Center for Dairy Excellence’s Dairy Decisions Consultants (DDC) grant program. Leveraging funds provided through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, farms can receive up to $3,500 in professional consulting funds to help make decisions that will shape the future of their operation.
“The program works to pair dairy farm families with experienced consultants who can help you enhance business performance, reach financial benchmarks, and explore new business opportunities,” said Melissa Anderson, Programs and Operations Manager at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Our consultants’ expertise and passion for dairy, combined with your vision for your farm, allow you to strategize for both the present and the future.”
For Jill and Andrew Henry, dairy producers in Clarion County, the DDC program allowed them to establish a comprehensive business plan they would later use in the grant-writing process to be designated as one of the recipients of the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program Round 2 grants. Their DDC consultant helped them visualize multiple funding sources and projected what their business would look like if they secured certain types of funding.
“He showed us where our farm would be if we continued into the future in the same status we are now. Then he showed us what it would look like if we received one grant or both grants, and what it would look like if we didn’t get funded and tried to outsource that funding through lenders,” Jill Henry said. “He gave us a lot of options and really helped us look at the whole picture.”
In addition to business planning, the Center for Dairy Excellence offers a list of 17 Dairy Decisions Consultants who can guide farms through one of three key areas:
- Business Performance and Reaching Financial Benchmarks
- New Business Opportunity Exploration
- Employee Relations & Development
“For my husband and father-in-law, the DDC program helped them see that change is a possibility for the future. They were feeling stuck and like they didn’t have options because the market was so bad,” Jill said. “To hear our consultant’s perspective and his projections, they learned what to eliminate that’s losing money and how they can come out on top.”
To apply for a Dairy Decisions Consultant grant, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/ddc to complete the application and submit it with a $100 application fee. The fee will be reimbursed if the application is not approved into the program.
If a farm already has a business consultant in mind, that person can be named within the application for approval by the Center. Farms are eligible to receive the DDC grant once every three years.
Contact Melissa Anderson at 717-346-0849 or email@example.com with questions.