Non-profit dairy research center to shut down due to lack of fundsWisconsin News
-- A non-profit group that boosted Wisconsin’s dairy industry over the last eight years is disbanding. The Dairy Business Innovation Center has told its 200 clients it will shut down at the end of the month.
MADISON - A non-profit group that boosted Wisconsin’s dairy industry over the last eight years is disbanding. The Dairy Business Innovation Center has told its 200 clients it will shut down at the end of the month.
The online center’s federal funding ran dry, and organizers said they could not find enough other money to keep going. The Innovation Center started in 2004 with a one-million-dollar earmark from U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Milwaukee). It arranged to have consultants work with dairy plants on things like business plans and getting the right equipment. Founder Dan Carter said the center also helped those facilities develop their products, packaging, and labels – and increasing their market shares. Spokeswoman Jeanne Carpenter said the innovation center was never out to compete with anyone, and 80-percent of its services were not available elsewhere.
Carpenter said the Wisconsin dairy industry would most likely lose some of its upward momentum as a result of the center’s closing. She said a fund-drive had been considered to keep the facility running – but the center’s board did not want to compete with a fund-raising effort by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research to help with a planned renovation of Babcock Hall on the UW-Madison campus. The Dairy Business Innovation Center received administrative support from the state Agriculture Department – but it did not get state money as part of that.