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Want to innovate your dairy business? Grants are available

Monika Kubala

Read the transcript for this report below.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN, HOST: Calling all dairies and creameries: if you’re looking to create a new cheese or yogurt, grants are available through Fresno State. KVPR’s Kerry Klein reports on the new Dairy Business Innovation Initiative.

KERRY KLEIN: The initiative has brought in $23 million to Fresno State over the next 3 years. It allows for dairy consulting and training, but half of it must be distributed as grants. Here’s food science professor Carmen Licon Cano.

CARMEN LICON CANO: This funding is to provide service to dairy businesses, to diversify their products, to improve marketing strategies, just to support the dairy industry.

KLEIN: Among the first round of winners? Small creameries developing drinkable yogurt, butter and even a drink made from colostrum. That’s a liquid more nutrient-packed than milk that cows produce just after giving birth.

CANO: The artisanal cheesemakers, they have very small productions, their revenues are smaller, of course, so they need support to bring technology and to bring innovation to their facilities.

KLEIN: Grants are available for up to $2 million dollars and are funded by the USDA. Applications are due February 28th. For KVPR News, I'm Kerry Klein.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.