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November 8, 2023  
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330       

Jeff Wolfe
P: (609) 913-6559
C: (609) 433-1785


(TRENTON) – The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announced today that 35 businesses have been selected for awards through the Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant. Two of those grants have the ability to positively impact New Jersey dairy producers.

Clover Farms Dairy received a grant to purchase and segregate fluid milk from New Jersey dairy farmers. The product will be packaged into Class I half pints and sold to K through 12 school districts throughout New Jersey, bringing local milk to New Jersey students. New Jersey law (Section 18A: 18A-6) requires public schools in the State to serve milk produced in New Jersey when available.

“This has the potential to be a significant development for many of our fluid milk producers,” NJDA Assistant Secretary Joe Atchison III said. “It can create a reliable market for our dairy farmers as well as ensure that students in our schools have the option to drink milk produced right here in New Jersey.”

Clover Farms plans to use the grant to install a 60,000-gallon tank that will be used exclusively for New Jersey produced fluid milk. The Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant funds allow for the purchase of specialized equipment to help processors increase the use of regionally sourced milk and expand regional dairy processing capacity. Clover’s goal is to have its new tank installation completed in the spring of 2024, and then have New Jersey produced milk ready for schools in the fall of 2024.

“The tank replacement will allow us to process milk from New Jersey farms and package it in half pints for New Jersey school students,” said Ron Mong, a dairy consultant for Clover Farms. “This makes sense for us from a business perspective and also can increase the financial success of New Jersey dairy farms.”

Mong said the plan was conceived during conservations with one of the Clover Dairy owners and the NJDA.

The other grant recipient is Valley Shepherd Creamery in Morris County. It will use the money to purchase specialized glass pot packaging equipment to expand its sheep milk yogurt sales throughout the region.

“Sheep milk products have a burgeoning market, and this grant will allow Valley Shepherd to explore more opportunities and possibly serve as a model for how other sheep milk producers can operate and distribute their commodities,” Atchison said.

With total funding of $12,287,001 across eight states, the NE-DBIC individual awards range from $25,852 to $1 million. Those selected for awards represent processors of all sizes: from farmstead creameries to multi-state businesses and co-ops. The USDA awarded the NE-DBIC an additional $20 million to address the stability and viability of Northeast regional dairy.

New Jersey’s dairy farmers produced more than 120 million pounds of milk and added more than $22 million to the state’s economy, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture from the USDA.

In addition to milk, New Jersey dairy farms and processors provide consumers with creams, yogurts, butter, cheeses, and other dairy products and maintain scenic vistas and open space, which enhances the quality of life for all state residents. 

From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients to help lead a healthier lifestyle. Whether it's protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse.

To learn more about dairy products and the benefits they can provide, go to


To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at and or Twitter @NJDA and @JerseyFreshNJDA.