Available to Midwest Dairy farmers, dairy groups, and agricultural organizations, Undeniably Dairy Grants help turn great ideas for promoting the dairy community to consumers into reality.
Please note, the Undeniably Dairy Grant applications for Illinois is closed for 2023.
Undeniably Dairy Grant
This grant is for local promotion efforts to showcase that dairy is good for people, the planet and our communities. Below are some general ideas including some other farmers have led. Additional ideas can be found in the Community Engagement Guide and Interact with Gen Z Guide.
- Bring dairy to unexpected places: Look for opportunities to bring dairy to new places. You could partner with a local brewery on a brew and moo event, host an interactive exhibit at an urban health fair or food festival, or work with community education organizations or a local retailer on a wine and cheese experience. Bring dairy into schools, bookstores, libraries, YMCA or other community education/youth focused program.
- Host on-farm events: Open your dairy and connect with your community. You could host a farm-to-table event inviting local influencers, an ice cream social for school educators, or a breakfast on the farm for your surrounding community.
- Engage with Gen Z (ages 13-25): Host a dairy day at your local middle school and/or high school to showcase the importance of dairy in their lives. Bring dairy into middle school and/or high school classrooms by providing a dairy themed ag literacy kit (check out our Educator Resources page for inspiration). Partner with a high school science teacher to host a farm tour for their science classes. Sponsor programs connecting Gen Z with local dairy ambassadors or princesses. More ideas for inspiration can be found in our Interact with Gen Z Guide.
Who can apply?
- Dairy farmers contributing to Midwest Dairy checkoff
- Organized dairy groups that have an active dairy farmer contributing to Midwest Dairy checkoff serving on the board. Board information must be submitted during the application process.
- Agriculture organizations (FFA, Farm Bureau, 4-H, etc.) in our 10-state region.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Your Application Must Meet Requirements of the Dairy Promotion and Research Order Issued by USDA
Consider these funds as a sponsorship of your program or event rather than a reimbursement for work completed. Here is a list of what is allowed and prohibited through the authorizing statues.
- These grant funds CANNOT be used to purchase dairy products for distribution.
- USDA has restricted checkoff funds being used for buildings and/or equipment.
- Grant funds CANNOT be used for premiums for dairy cattle shows.
Target Gen Z (ages 13-25) and/or Urban Consumers Removed from Agriculture
Focus on projects that will make connections with the next generation of consumers and/or those consumers that haven’t had the opportunity to connect with dairy, including Gen Z. Gen Z includes young adolescents (13-17 years old) and young adults (18-25 years old).
Why Gen Z?
Midwest Dairy is focused on Gen Z because we have an opportunity to make sizeable changes to grow sales and trust for dairy with this age group, making them high-impact consumers. Gen Z is on-track to be the best-educated generation yet and their spending power towers over $100B with spending power around $360B in disposable income. This doesn’t include the influence they also have on their parents. Research also shows that trust in dairy nutrition and sustainability drops from young adolescents (teens) to young adults. Additionally, research shows that average daily milk consumption begins to decline for young adolescents (ages 12-19) and continues to decline into adulthood. If we don’t reach Gen Z where they are, they’ll turn to other foods and beverages that align with their wants, needs, and values.
Use Undeniably Dairy Branding and Messaging
The Undeniably Dairy logo and messaging must be included within your program. Proudly let others know that dairy is good for people, the planet, and our communities. Check out the following resources to help incorporate the Undeniably Dairy logo and messaging into your program or event:
- Undeniably Dairy Experience Portal – Download free creative resources from Dairy Management Inc, including general audience graphics, posters, flyers, and more!
- Midwest Dairy downloadable resources – Download free activities, handouts, trivia, guides, and more in our resource center.
- The Midwest Dairy Promo Center has a variety of items available at no cost to dairy farmer funders of Midwest Dairy. Place an order online and allow at least 2 weeks for delivery. Items are also available for purchase from the Dairy Flair Store.
- Check out Midwest Dairy’s YouTube page for videos you could share as a part of your program or event.
- Here’s a list of key messages you could consider incorporating into your program or event.
- If you need a copy of the Undeniably Dairy logo, please reach out to Jenna Finch.
Apply for up to $5,000 in One Calendar Year
These are competitive grants and funding is subject to availability. Applications will be evaluated based on information provided in the application and alignment with identified eligibility requirements. There is no guarantee that full funding will be received with your application.
Complete Grant Report
A final report must be submitted online within 90 days of project completion to remain eligible the following calendar year. Information required in the reports include the number of consumers reached, paragraph summary and photos showcasing your success.
All applicants must submit a completed W9 along with their application. You will not be able to apply without a completed W9. You can download the IRS W9 form here.
What is the timeline and process?
Applications will be evaluated by an Undeniably Dairy Grant selection committee and approved in three funding cycles. Here are the application deadlines for the 3 funding cycles:
- March 1
- May 1
- August 1
Funding is competitive and will be subject to availability. There is no guarantee that full funding will be received.
Applications will be reviewed after each funding cycle deadline (March 1, May 1, August 1) by a grant selection committee. Applicants will be notified electronically of approval or denial within 30 days after the application deadline. If approved, applicant will also be notified of funding amount as the full request is not guaranteed pending W9 information is submitted correctly.
Approved applicants will receive funding approximately 45 days after the application deadline.
Grant recipients are required to submit a grant report within 90 days of project completion to remain eligible the next calendar year. Information required in the reports include the number of consumers reached, paragraph summary and photos showcasing your success.
Please contact your Farmer Relations Manager with any eligibility or application questions.