CDRF is primarily funded by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), which receives checkoff dollars from local dairy producers and is governed by the regulations set out in the Marketing Order for Research, Education and Promotion of Market Milk and Dairy Products in California, and the subsequent federal Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983.
CDRF’s funding strategy is focused on ‘applied dairy research’ and ‘science-based educational programs’ to address the industry strategic issues. It aims at acquiring new knowledge and developing appropriate technologies with a specific application in view. For example, new diagnostic tools, boosting milk security and safety, best practices in sustainable dairy industry, nutritional and health benefits of milk and dairy products, etc.
CDRF invests in both short-term and long-term projects. However, ~70% of CDRF-funded projects are expected to deliver outcomes within the short-term (one to two years), ~30% deliver outcomes within the long-term (three to ten years) that yield valuable information.
CDRF makes investment decisions based on its vision and commitment to:
- Fund projects that positively affect the dairy industry and communities in California and the U.S.;
- Fund fellowships in support of attracting and retaining outstanding researchers to California and/or retain those already based here;
- Respond to the changing needs of the industry;
- Align with overall priorities of the industry, and work towards shared goals;
- Encourage innovation and forward thinking ideas and projects.
Funds are open to both U.S. and international candidates provided they represent an eligible organization. This includes accredited universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories, private and/or public organizations and/or contract laboratories.