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As part of an effort to better cover crucial issues in the agricultural industry, Investigate Midwest has acquired IowaWatch and its talented team, bringing together a combined 25 years of public service journalism to Iowa and the Midwest. 

USDA Makes Available Additional $80 Million in Funding to Support Long-Term Resilience in the Dairy Industry

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an additional investment of $80 million in the Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives. In November 2021, DBI awarded $18.4 million to three current Initiatives at University of Tennessee, Vermont Agency for Food and Marketing and University of Wisconsin, and $1.8 million to a new initiative at California State University Fresno. Under the existing DBI program, which was previously announced through a FY21 Request for Applications (RFA), each Initiative will now have the opportunity to submit additional proposals for up to $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds to further support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance to producers. "The pandemic has demonstrated that dairy producers and regional dairy processors, particularly those engaged in value-added production, faced systemic shocks over the past several years," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We have heard directly from producers and processors - particularly organic producers and processors in the Northeast - on how we can work with the industry to build long-term resilience of regional dairy supply chains.

GRAPHIC: How Midwest farms use computers

Based on a U.S. Department of Agriculture annual survey collected in June, most farms throughout selected Midwest states use their phones to access the internet.

GRAPHIC: A 40-year look at the busiest canal on the Mississippi River

Millions of tons of corn, wheat and soybeans travel down the Mississippi River each year to be shipped all over the world from New Orleans.

As of April 17, 641,000 tons of grain passed through Lock 27, a canal that runs more than two-dozen miles long and is located just outside of St. Louis in Granite City, Illinois.