What is Wisconsin without its cheese?
It is not only a product, but a trademark, a symbol, a local treasure!
"The University of Wisconsin-Madison's college of agriculture has conducted research that has changed not only Wisconsin's economy, but also the world's. When Babcock developed a test that measured milkfat in 1890, it allowed dairy farmers to determine milk's actual value and spurred more investment in the industry. By 1910, Wisconsin had become the nation's leader in cheese production — a title it holds to this day. And the growth continues. In fact, if Wisconsin was a country it would rank as the world's fourth-largest cheese maker.
Wisconsin's reputation for dairy innovation and leadership is well earned and continues to this day. Wisconsin was the first state to grade its cheeses for quality, it is the only state that mandates its cheesemakers be licensed and is the only state with a Master Cheesemaker Program. This commitment to product safety and quality assures consumers that when they buy Wisconsin cheeses, they are buying some of the finest cheeses in the world, a claim that is supported by the fact Wisconsin wins more awards than all other states combined at U.S. and world cheese competitions.
And it all begins on our farms. It is often said that farmers were the first environmentalists. Today's dairy farmers are corn growers, soybean producers, growers of alfalfa. They often manage forestlands and play critical roles in assuring creeks and streams remain pure. Perhaps at no other time in our history has the fishing in our rural rivers and creeks been as abundant as it is today.
The hallmark of Wisconsin's dairy industry has been this ongoing collaboration of farmers, cheesemakers and processors, the state's educational system and an array of suppliers working together to build upon the leadership and innovation of the visionaries of the past. Dairying is an important part of our state's collective history and hopes to be just as an important part of our future."
~ James Robson, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board