Saturday, August 20, 2011

Say Cheese

The last couple of weeks I’ve been giving presentations about the history of Wisconsin’s cheese industry. For those who have accepted California as the leading dairy state in the nation—remove those thoughts from your mind. Wisconsin continues as the leading cheese producing state in the nation—a honor our state has held since 1910.

In 2010 Wisconsin produced 2.6 billion pounds of cheese. Lots of cheese. Mozzarella, then cheddar lead the pack of cheese varieties produced.

Some additional cheese trivia that you can use to wow your friends:

It takes 10 pounds of milk to make a pound of cheese.

Colby and brick cheese are Wisconsin originals—meaning they were invented here.

There is but one cheese factory in all of North America that manufactures limburger cheese—Chalet Cheese Factory near Monroe in Green County.

In 1950, Wisconsin had 143,000 dairy farms. In 2011 the number of dairy farms is about 12,000 and dropping.

Wisconsin has about 1.3 million cows.

Artisan cheese, small batch handmade cheeses, now make up 16 percent of total cheese produced in Wisconsin. More than 400 different kinds.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: I’m a cheesehead and proud of it.

CHECK THIS OUT: The Wisconsin Historical Press, one of my publishers, has recently produced a “trailer” for my new barn book. You can watch it by going to:


September 7, Noon. Friends of Eagle River Library Banquet.

September 10, Barnes and Noble, La Crosse. 1:00 p.m. Campfires and Loon Calls.

September 11, Woodland Country School Reunion, 1-4, Speaking at 2:00 p.m. Two miles from Hustisford on Highway R.

September 17, Creekside Bookstore, Cedarburg. Book Signing, 1-4.

September 18, Creekside Bookstore, Cedarburg, Book signing, 12-3.

September 21, Cumberland Library, 5:30 p.m. The Lighter Side of Country Living.

September 22, Midwest Bookseller Convention, Minneapolis

October 2, Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, WI.

October 4, Union Grove Library. 1:30 p.m. Horse Drawn Days, 6:30 p.m. History of Cheese Making.

October 8, Horse Drawn Days, Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 15, Horse Drawn Days, Wade House,Green Bush, WI. 1:00 p.m.

October 18, New Holstein Library, 1:00 p.m. Book talk featuring Cranberry Red. 6:30-8:30 Writer’s workshop.

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