The Big Cheesehttp://www.seacoastonline.com/news/09302006/business-b-930_cheese.htmlBabcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development [pdf]http://babcock.cals.wisc.edu/Cheesemaking in Wisconsin: A Short Historyhttp://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/WI/WI-idx?id=WI.CheesemakingWisconsin Cheese Makers Associationhttp://www.wischeesemakersassn.org/Real California Cheese [Macromedia Flash Player]http://www.realcaliforniacheese.com/Cheddar cheese priceshttp://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Cheddar_Cheese_Prices/index.aspPeople in Wisconsin take cheese seriously. While always remaining generally good-natured about their well-known nickname (“cheeseheads”), the state’s residents hold everything from limburger to cheddar close to their collective hearts and stomachs. There has been some potentially disconcerting news revealed over the past week or so, as reports from both the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the California Milk Advisory Board indicate that California’s annual cheese production may soon surpass that of Wisconsin. In the past fifteen years, California’s production of cheese has more than tripled, and currently the state’s farms are producing 2.14 billion pounds of cheese compared with Wisconsin’s 2.4 billion pounds. Many in Wisconsin find this possible takeover unfortunate, for as Terese Allen, a former president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin remarked, “Cheese really is part of our identity.” Some in the Wisconsin cheese-making community have also countered that California’s rise to cheese producing prominence has been achieved by relying heavily on enormous factories, rather than more intimate cheese producing facilities. The subject remains a contentious one around Wisconsin’s core cheese manufacturing counties. In places like Green County, home to the famed biennial “Cheese Days”, the cheese making espirit de corps remains s a vital force, and fortunately shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. The first link will gently take users away to an article on the recent news of California’s rise in cheese production offered by the Star Tribune in the Twin Cities. The second link leads to a story from the Portsmouth Herald about the recent successes of the Sartori Foods Company’s numerous forays into the world of Wisconsin cheese making. The third link leads to the homepage of the Babcock Institute for International Diary Research and Development, housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here visitors can read about some of their recent research findings and also examine their “Weekly Dairy Fact”. The fourth link leads to a digitized version of the 1924 publication, “Cheesemaking in Wisconsin: A Short History”. Along with presenting a number of photographs of cheese farms of the period, it also offers a brief overview of the development and growth of this sector of the state’s economy and identity. The fifth link leads to the online home of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, where visitors can learn about such perennial events as the World Championship Cheese Contest. In the interest of providing fair and balanced coverage, the sixth link will take interested parties to the homepage of the California Cheese Makers Association, which contains a virtual cheese making tour and other such diversions. Agricultural economists and other such types will appreciate the final link which leads to a chart created by the National Agricultural Statistics Service that tracks the price of cheddar cheese in the United States over the past calendar year.


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