Dept. of Commerce: Secretary Nettles Reports on Commerce Activities to Assist Dairy Industry

Tony Hozeny, 608/267-9661

MADISON—Dairy 2020 projects now underway have increased annual Wisconsin milk production by over 1.2 billion pounds per year and represent total on-farm investment of $282.4 million, Department of Commerce Secretary Cory L. Nettles announced today.

“Our ongoing survey of Dairy 2020 grant recipients shows that they are helping to expand investment in the state’s dairy industry and provide additional milk to meet the needs of Wisconsin dairy processors,” Secretary Nettles said.

Of 606 surveyed recipients, 71 percent have gone forward with their projects, 75 percent report improved production efficiency, and 59 percent improved profitability.

The median herd size at time of application was 100 cows. After three years, the surveyed recipients had nearly tripled the size of their herds to more than 155,000 cows, and yearly per-cow production had increased by 18 percent to nearly 25,000 pounds.

Nettles noted that the Milk Volume Production (MVP) Program is helping Wisconsin’s dairy industry expand its herd and increase milk production.

“Commerce has approved 83 loans totaling over $9 million that have added 18,000 cows to the state’s herd,” Nettles said. “At an average yearly per-cow production of 22,000 pounds, these projects will add nearly 400 million pounds to our state’s annual milk supply.”

The Dairy 2020 Initiative, administered by Commerce, helps improve the dairy business climate through business, government, and education partnerships. The program awards individual planning grants of up to $3,000 to help Wisconsin dairy producers assess the feasibility of projects to improve on-farm profitability. These grants are one component of Governor Doyle’s comprehensive plan to re-invigorate dairy and keep it strong into the next century.

All current and start-up Wisconsin dairy producers are eligible to apply for MVP Program loans. Commerce requires that applicants submit comprehensive business plans. The agency will seek to maximize the program’s impact by participating in projects that increase milk production capacity and demonstrate a need for additional financing.

For further information on the Dairy 2020 and MVP programs, contact Tim Griswold, Commerce, at 608/266-7370.