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Half Million in Funding Awarded to Dairy Businesses Across the Pacific Coast 

Plus, learn how your company can qualify for the next round of grants. 

Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Sandwich Operation
PCC-DBII Grantee Ruby Jewel’s Ice Cream Sandwich Production Facility

Every bite of your favorite velvety ice cream or smoky gouda is a testament to the production and intentionality that goes into it. The Pacific Coast Coalition—Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII) is committed to investing in the dairy industry’s resiliency, ensuring that folks can continue to enjoy delicious milk-based treats for generations to come.

According to a press release, PCC-DBII, funded by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and hosted by California State University, has awarded grants totaling $521,764 to 12 dairy businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington. These funds will enable companies to invest in equipment, with each grantee receiving up to $50,000. 

Investing in infrastructure is essential for the growth of the dairy industry. It not only helps create new products but also enables businesses to operate efficiently and sustainably. The grant winners plan to purchase equipment like milk analyzers, homogenizers, pasteurizers, milk-cooling transport tanks, cheese-cutting machines, and ice cream machines. These purchases will make it easier for companies to expand offerings, improve quality, and reduce environmental impact.

“These grant winners are driving economic sustainability and growth through their high-quality dairy foods,” said Susan Pheasant, PhD, Director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture at the PCC-DBII. 

Since 2021, the PCC-DBII has been helping small and medium multi-generational, BIPOC, and family businesses thrive. They have invested over $25 million to support the growth of these companies. 

“Those selected for awards range from 98-year-old multi-generational legacies looking to diversify their line to two-year-old BIPOC-owned start-ups with their sights on the nation’s biggest grocery stores,” Carmen Licon Cano, PhD, Project Director at the PCC-DBII. 

With this round of funding coming to a close, the coalition intends to release another set of grants to dairy businesses starting January 2, 2024. Prospects based in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington are encouraged to apply.

“By investing in new and existing products, the PCC-DBII-awarded-grants facilitate entrepreneurship and increase the availability of innovative cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream products both regionally and nationally,” says Dr. Pheasant.  

2023 Grant Recipients:





Ashia Aubourg

Ashia Aubourg is culture's Assistant Digital Editor. She received her BA in Food Studies and Policy Studies from Syracuse University, where she researched components that make up equitable food systems. She previously held print and digital roles at Food & Wine, Cuisine Noir, America's Test Kitchen, and others, where her writing unearthed underrepresented narratives within food, travel, and culture. Before starting her writing career, she held food policy and social impact roles across various nonprofits and companies. Ashia currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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