Dairy Decisions Consultant Grants

Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will open on September 15, 2024.

This program provides dairy farm families with one-on-one professional consulting resources to help make decisions that will shape the future of their farm. Once accepted into the program, farms can receive up to $4,000 in funds to work with a Dairy Decisions Consultant. Program support is made possible through Ag Excellence funding provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the PA Dairymen’s Association. Farms that have 35 or more lactating cows or dairy heifer raising operations with more than 100 dairy heifers are eligible to apply.

*Note: If you are using the NFWF grant through Pasa, click here to download a consulting application that is specific to that program.

The Center for Dairy Excellence offers a list of 22 Dairy Decisions Consultants who can work with farms in one of seven key areas:

  • Employee Management & Communication – Employee management is more than just ensuring that your employees are doing their job. It consists of procedures and strategies that can help you measure, monitor, and interact with the workforce that plays a huge role in your business.
  • Business Planning & Structure – Business planning is a necessity to help manage volatility and create a roadmap for decision-making in all aspects of the business.
  • Product Marketing & Labeling – Effective marketing and labeling of your branded dairy products can create a more positive impact on your customers and their purchasing decisions.
  • Direct Marketing – Directly marketing products made from your milk to consumers can help a farm capture more revenues, but the processing and branded business can be complex.
  • Animal Welfare – Veterinarian consultants will help farms establish animal welfare protocols related to the FARM Program as well as help train employees in FARM compliance.
  • Financial Management – Financial management and planning can provide dairy farm families with professional consulting resources to help make decisions that will shape the future of their farm.
  • Pre-Farm Transition – Business and financial feasibility is an important part of transitioning the farm and/or family issue projects to set the farm up for a future transition team.

To view a list of the DDC consultants, click here. If a farm already has a consultant in mind they would like to work with, 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. Click here to see how other farms have used the DDC program.

How to Apply:

  • Applications are closed for the 2023-2024 program year. Check back in September.

The DDC grant really transcended us to where we are now. By working with a consultant who has established businesses before, it changed our trajectory. And because of the Center, we’re still working with that same consultant today. It gave us the opportunity to [figure out our next steps making yogurt] through the funds. It was a great connection.

Stephanie Painter, The Painterland Sisters

Frequently Asked Questions:

Click here for FAQs about the DDC Program.

Click here to download a W-9 form.

For more information, please contact Melissa Anderson at 717-636-0779 or manderson@centerfordairyexcellence.org.