Wisconsin has become known as the premier source for cheese produced in the United States. Over one million cows in Wisconsin produce milk to create billions pounds of cheese made in Wisconsin each year. How did Wisconsin become famous for its cheese making?
When European immigrants came to the Midwest area in the early-to-mid 1800s, they found the climate, geography and farming conditions to be very similar to their homelands. Farming quickly spread, and the immigrants began dairy farming in earnest. The result was the farmers had more than enough mik to feed their families and sell in markets, and the excess was turned into cheese so that it could be preserved longer.
Within a matter of a few short decades, the reputation of Wisconsins dairy farmers and cheese products grew, and its cheesemaking industry exploded with the westward migration. Cheese factories abounded, and immigrant dairy farmers from Europe chose Wisconsin as their new home, further fueling the quality and excitement about cheese.
By the 1900s, Wisconsin was home to thousands of cheese factories run by farming families. Farmers innovated many new production and marketing strategies. German, Swiss and English cheeses achieved widespread popularity as Old World recipes were enhanced and new recipes were introduced that became distinctly American.
Today, Wisconsin cheese is known throughout the world as a symbol of quality and culinary excellence. The Made with Wisconsin Cheese slogan is regularly promoted by companies producing foods such as frozen pizzas, appetizers, snacks, cheesecakes, as well as used by restaurants all around the United States.
There are more cheese producers in Wisconsin than any other state. It has a licensing and apprenticeship program to ensure the continued quality and craftsmanship that has developed over 150 years, and a Master Cheesemaker designation given to those who have demonstrated mastery of