October 31, 2014

Wisconsin remains nation’s big cheese

So much for California’s “happy cows;” overall cheese production in the Badger State increased by nearly 5 percent last year to a total of 2.8 billion pounds.

State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says that’s the most in the United States, a title Wisconsin has held, Brancel says, since who knows when. “At one time they thought that California might catch up to us but they found out that our cheese makers here in the state of Wisconsin and the companies are willing to invest — and they have been doing major investments in the last number of years.”

In fact, 25 percent of all the nation’s cheese came from Wisconsin in 2012. Increased production of “specialty cheeses” helped Wisconsin retain its title as the nation’s top cheese producer last year.

Brancel says increasing the quantity, types, and styles of cheeses puts Wisconsin in a very strong position in the market place. Wisconsin’s cheese industry produces 600 different styles and types of cheeses, more than any other state.

John Colbert, WIBA