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Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (SDBII)

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2024 SDBII Farm Infrastructure Improvement & Precision Technology and Management Grants – Currently Closed. Will re-open Jan 2025
Existing dairy farms in North Carolina are eligible to apply for funding through the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (SDBII) for precision technology and infrastructure improvements to their operations. SDBII is supported by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Eligibility information, frequently asked questions, application materials, and more are available through the main SDBII website.

Fall SDBII Specialty Processing Equipment & Dairy Business Planning Grants – Currently Closed. Will re-open July 2024

Existing and prospective value-added dairy businesses in North Carolina that develop, produce, market, or distribute dairy products are eligible to apply for funding through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (DBII), an effort supported by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Eligibility information, frequently asked questions, application materials, and more are available through the main SDBII website.

If you are interested in this grant and plan to apply, please contact NC State Extension, along with N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, want to support your effort to submit a successful application, so the sooner you let us know you are working on an application, the more likely we will be able to answer any questions you have and/or point you in the direction of resources.

Registering for a Unique Entity ID

In order to receive funding through SDBII or other federally-funded grants, your operation must register with for a Unique Entity ID (UEI). The process is free, but takes some time and requires you to input documentation about your entity. This Quick Start Guide will help as you navigate the online process. Note:  You only need a UEI, you do not have to register for awards (option 3 on page 3 of the guide). 

Note:  If you don’t recall dates for origination of your entity, a workaround solution is calling the IRS at 1-800-829-4933, providing them with your EIN (different from your UEI, but another federal identifier for your business) and asking them to send/fax you Form 147C. It will have an origination date on it that you can use in this UEI verification process.

Dairy Gauge

Extension faculty from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky are gathering data from farms across the region that will be aggregated, analyzed, and anonymized to create a multi-state set of data to create a southeastern dairy benchmark called Dairy Gauge. Participants in the program will be provided with an annual report that will include their own data compared to the average/range of all participants. This is a confidential program, and no individual farm information will be released.

The Dairy Gauge Workbook focuses on income, operating expenses, and generalized balance sheet data. The data needed to participate in the Dairy Gauge project include the following:

  • Annual Income and Expenses from a Profit & Loss Statement. (A Schedule F may be used if a P&L is not available; however, the categories are limited and will not provide as detailed information.)
  • Annual milk marketing summary (Typically available on a settlement statement or a January milk check from your cooperative.)
  • End of year or most current balance sheet (If you do not wish to provide balance sheet information, we can still use your operating information. However, the ratio output for Dairy Gauge is more informative with balance sheet data. Dairy Gauge only asks for totals for current, intermediate, and long-term assets and liabilities.)

If you are interested in participating, contact Brittany Whitmire at