Legislature Creates Dairy Innovation Fund, With $750,000 For Grants, Loans

Des Moines, Iowa — The legislature has voted to create a state fund to provide 750 thousand dollars in grants or loans for upgrades at Iowa dairy farms.

Representative Norlin Mommsen of DeWitt says the Iowa Department of Agriculture will manage the new Dairy Innovation Fund.

Representative Monica Kurth of Davenport says the money could help on-the-farm start-ups, like dairies that make cheese or yogurt.

Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan says the legislature has set some guidelines for grants, loans, or forgivable loans.

Iowa ranks 12th in dairy production, with about 220-thousand dairy cows in the state today. But Senator Eric Giddens of Cedar Falls says the number of dairy farms in Iowa has fallen to about 850.

The money for the Dairy Innovation Fund is included in a budget bill that won final legislative approval in the House on Tuesday. The program guidelines are in a separate bill that the Senate approved yesterday (Tuesday) and sent to the governor.



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