Are you looking to improve cow comfort, milk production per cow, or efficiency on your dairy? The Center for Dairy Excellence leverages funds provided through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide Dairy Excellence Grants to support improvement projects on Pennsylvania dairy farms. Approved farmers will receive a 50 percent match, up to a matching level of $5,000.
Projects can include anything related to improving dairy farm efficiency, cow comfort, milking facilities, housing facilities, or feeding systems. The project should focus on improving milk production per cow, or enhancing overall farm profitability and efficiency. Some examples include:
- Fans, sprinklers, or misters in free stall or tie stall barn
- Curtains or other ventilation improvements
- Mattresses or construction to move to deeply bedded sand stalls
- Variable speed pulsation
- Cow brush or foot bath installation
To participate in the Dairy Excellence Grant program, farms can apply online or via a printed application from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 2023. The selection committee will award grants based on the impact the project would have on cow comfort and overall milk production, the detail in which the applicant describes what the project involves and how the project will benefit their operation, and the willingness of the applicant to provide requested information or to seek help in providing the requested information.
As part of the application, recipients must be compliant with the National FARM Program or a similar program and have a Conservation and Nutrient Management Plan in place. Applicants must also list two consultants or advisors who work with your farm (ex. nutritionist, accountant, veterinarian, etc.) Finally, they will explain how the improvement will help the farm’s overall operation and aid in milk production per cow, efficiency, and cow comfort.
Dairy farm businesses or individuals receiving the Dairy Excellence Grant during the Fall 2022 round are not eligible to receive a Dairy Excellence grant in this round. Those who applied for a Dairy Excellence Grant at any point but were not accepted into the program are eligible to apply again.