The Dairy State: Everything You Need To Know About Wisconsin’s Cheese Tradition

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We all know that Wisconsin is the Dairy State, but do you really know everything there is to know about our cheeses?

History of Cheese in Wisconsin

Cheese has been made in Wisconsin since the early 1800s, when settlers from New York and New England brought dairy cows with them as they moved west. Wisconsin’s climate and rich soil were perfect for growing grass, which provided food for the cows and helped them produce high-quality milk.

In 1841, a man named John J. Green became the first person to commercially manufacture cheese in Wisconsin. He built a small cheese factory near Plymouth, in the southeastern part of the state. Other cheese factories soon followed, and by 1900 there were more than 1,200 cheese factories operating in Wisconsin.

Today, Wisconsin is home to over 50 percent of the United States’ licensed cheesemakers and produces more than 25 percent of the country’s total cheese output. More than 600 different varieties and types of cheese are made in Wisconsin, including Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, Parmesan, provolone, and blue cheese.

The state is also home to several iconic cheeses that are beloved by fans around the world, such as Babybel Cheese Wheels, Spotted Cow beer Cheese Spreads, and Carr Valley Cheese Company’s award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon Marble Cheddar.

Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Cheese curds are a quintessential Wisconsin food. These bite-sized chunks of fried cheese are delicious on their own, or as a topping on burgers, salads, and more. Wisconsin is home to many great cheese curd producers, so you’re sure to find a variety that you love.

Cheese curds are made from fresh, unpasteurized milk. The milk is heated and then rennet is added to create the curds. Once the curds form, they are cut into small pieces and then fried. The result is a delicious snack that is perfect for any occasion.

When shopping for cheese curds, be sure to look for those that are made in Wisconsin. There are many great producers throughout the state, so you’re sure to find a variety that you love. Wisconsin cheese curds are available at many grocery stores and online retailers.

The Importance of Dairy Farmers in WI

The dairy industry is a vital part of Wisconsin’s economy and history. Dairy farmers play a significant role in ensuring the state’s cheese tradition continues.

Cheese is one of Wisconsin’s most iconic products. The state is home to over 600 cheese producers, who make over 2 billion pounds of cheese every year. That’s about 26% of the nation’s total cheese production!

Wisconsin’s dairy industry employs over 43,000 people, with dairy farmers making up a large portion of that workforce. In addition to producing milk and cheese, Wisconsin dairy farmers also contribute to the state’s economy by supporting local businesses and generating tax revenue.

Dairy farming is not an easy job, but it’s an important one. Wisconsin dairy farmers work hard every day to provide high-quality milk and cheese for everyone to enjoy.

What is Cow Share?

A cow share is a program where individuals can purchase a portion of a dairy cow that is raised at a farm. The customer pays the farmer for the cost of raising the animal, and in return, they are able to receive a share of the milk that the cow produces.

The concept of cow sharing has been around for centuries, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years as more people are looking for ways to connect with their food and where it comes from. For many people, cow sharing provides an opportunity to get fresh, local milk that hasn’t been processed or homogenized.

If you’re interested in signing up for a cow share, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you’ll need to find a farm that offers this program. Second, you’ll need to decide how much milk you want to receive each week or month. And finally, you’ll need to be prepared to pay for your share of the animal’s upkeep, which can range from $50 to $200 per month depending on the size of the animal and the farm’s operating costs.


Whether you’re a Wisconsin native or just visiting, there’s no doubt that you’ll find plenty of delicious cheese to enjoy. From cheddar to Gouda, Wisconsin has a cheese for everyone. And with such a rich tradition behind it, you can be sure that the cheese here is of the highest quality. So next time you’re in the mood for some cheese, be sure to head to Wisconsin and try out some of the best that the dairy state has to offer.

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