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DGA Tentatively Selected for Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership

DGA's 5-year $4,770,000 project will measure, track, and market the benefits of climate-smart production on managed grazing dairy farms, providing small producers with direct payments, technical assistance, and opportunities for expansion.

December 12 2022

December 14, 2022

MEDFORD, WI –Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is thrilled that its proposed 5-year $4,770,000 project, “Implementing Precision Ag Tech to Expand the Participation of Small Grazing Dairy Farms in Climate-Smart Commodities,” has been tentatively selected for funding under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) second pool for Climate-Smart Commodities Partnerships.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on December 12th that the Biden-Harris Administration, through the USDA, is investing an additional $325 million for 71 projects, bringing the total investment from both funding pools to over $3.1 billion for 141 tentatively selected projects. Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is working to expand markets for American producers who produce climate-smart commodities, leverage greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart production, and provide meaningful benefits to producers, including small and underserved producers.

DGA’s climate-smart project plans to make direct payments and provide technical assistance to small-scale dairy farmers to implement climate-smart grazing management. The resulting climate-smart milk will be marketed through a shared digital marketing campaign and tactical marketing tools to accelerate consumer awareness and build trust and industry adoption. This network of the farms will also serve as Apprenticeship training sites, enabling DGA to aid producers in expanding their positive climate impacts while generating revenue. Project partner organizations include: Institute of Food Technologists, Taste Profit Marketing, Cedar Grove Cheese, Painterland Sisters, Uplands Cheese, Colorado State University, and University of Missouri.

“This project is potentially a game-changer for climate-smart dairy production in the U.S.,” says DGA Executive Director, Joseph Tomandl, III. “DGA has an amazing network of farmers and partners. We’re ready to dive in and get this project rolling to model out what managed grazing dairy systems can really accomplish for climate and for the dairy industry.”

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is a National Apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration. The two-year program combines 3700 hours of on-farm employment and training under an approved Mentor Dairy Grazier with 300 hours of related instruction, including classes delivered online through DGA’s Managed Grazing Innovation Center. Graduates are certified Journey Dairy Graziers and may advance into management, equity earning, and farm transfer.

Find out more at

Joseph Tomandl, III, DGA Executive Director, 715-560-0389

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