Why Wisconsin Cheese & Dairy?
Wisconsin is unique among the cheesemaking regions of the world. Because our dairy industry focus is cheese, Wisconsin is an international hub of cheesemaking craftsmanship, technology and cheese innovation. Combined with rigorous standards for cheese quality, that are among the highest in the world, and a strong commitment to customer service, Wisconsin offers world class resources to support the selection, marketing and application of cheese.
Wisconsin's Cheesemaking Heritage
For more than a century, Wisconsin's rich farmland and productive dairy herds have attracted the finest cheese craftsmen from notable cheesemaking regions around the world. Early cheesemaking pioneers from Germany, Switzerland, England, Italy, France and elsewhere found Wisconsin, with its high-quality milk and diary-friendly environment, to be the perfect place to make the traditional cheeses of Europe. In Wisconsin, the cheesemaking heritage and skill of these early pioneers has been passed down through generations.
- Unique cheeses like Colby, Baby Swiss, and Brick were invented by Wisconsin cheesemakers.
- Authentic European-style cheese and other ethnic varieties rival cheeses made in the homelands of Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Denmark, Switzerland, England, India and Mexico.
Wisconsin's Rigorous Cheesemaking Standards
When you purchase cheese from Wisconsin, you can be assured that it was made under the care and guidance of a licensed Wisconsin cheesemaker. This license means that the cheesemaker has completed years of training and apprenticeship and meets our state's stringent requirements for cheesemaking.
Wisconsin is the only state that requires a licensed cheesemaker to be on premise during the manufacture of each vat of cheese, and with over 1,200 licensed cheesemakers in Wisconsin, customers are assured that every shipment of Wisconsin cheese meets the highest standards. Quality control programs, including HACCP programs, assure that quality is built into Wisconsin's dairy products during every step of the manufacturing process.
While awards are just one measure of cheese quality and craftsmanship, Wisconsin cheesemakers continue to win more International and U.S. Cheesemaking Championship awards each year than any other competing state, region or country.
Wisconsin Cheese & Export Facts
- Ninety percent of our state's milk production goes into cheesemaking, which creates more than 950,000 metric tonnes of Wisconsin cheese annually.
- Wisconsin's cheese industry, our state's largest agricultural-based industry, has developed and grown over more than 150 years.
- Wisconsin's 140 cheese companies range from farmtead cheesemaking artisans, to small and medium-sized specialized cheese operations, to giant multi-plant corporations.