Introduction and Background
The Department of Commerce is seeking applications for the Creamery Assistance Grant, appropriated by the 68th legislative assembly through HB1018. This grant aims to support the agriculture industry within the state, promote job opportunities, and stimulate economic development.

To award financial assistance to a creamery business that presents the most comprehensive and sustainable plan for utilizing the funds to further the economic and agricultural objectives of the state.


  • Existing or emerging creamery businesses registered within the state.
  • Businesses that have a clear business plan detailing their current/future operations, projected outcomes, and alignment with state goals.
  • Priority will be given to businesses that have demonstrated past success or show significant potential for future contributions to the state's agriculture industry and economy.

Evaluation Criteria - Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Agricultural Impact (40 points)

  • Support and enhancement of the state's dairy and related agricultural sectors.
  • Utilization of state-produced ingredients and materials.

Economic Development (30 points)

  • Creation of new job opportunities for North Dakota residents.
  • Potential for increased economic activity in the local community and state.
  • Plans for long-term sustainability and growth.

Innovation and Modernization (15 points)

  • Implementation or improvement of production capabilities which may include incorporation of technology and techniques that enhance efficiency

Rural Attraction through Brick and Mortar (15)

  • Establishment or enhancement of a physical location that serves as an attraction in rural North Dakota.
  • Ability to draw visitors, tourists, and locals through unique offerings, events, or experiences.
  • Contribution to the revitalization or promotion of rural communities in North Dakota.

Proposals Requirements - Proposals should include:

  • An executive summary of the project.
  • Background of the applying business.
  • Detailed project description and objectives.
  • A clear budget outline showcasing how funds will be utilized.
  • Projections for job creation and economic impact.
  • Details on future growth plans.
  • Any additional information which addresses the evaluation criteria

Award Amount

The total funding pool available for this grant is $250,000. The Department of Commerce may choose to award the full amount to one entity or divide the funds among multiple applicants based on the strength of proposals and alignment with state objectives.

Application Process

Eligible organizations shall submit a concise application to the Department of Commerce. Applications shall identify the applicant, preferred point of contact and associated contact information, and amount requested.

Proposals are limited to ten pages. The evaluation team will not consider any materials beyond the ten-page limit.

Applications shall be submitted electronically by September 25, 2023 at 5:00pm CST to the Deputy Director of the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development & Finance Division:

Shayden Akason

Important Dates

  • Deadline to Submit Questions: September 15, 2023
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: September 25, 2023
  • Notification of Award: October 2, 2023


The RFP established a deadline for submission of questions and requests for clarification.

Click here to view the responses to the questions