Artisan and specialty cheese production in Wisconsin has increased since 1999, to just over 10 percent of the total cheese currently produced in Wisconsin. Farmstead-produced bottled milks, yogurts, and ice creams have also increased impressively. To put it succinctly, the dairy industry in Wisconsin is changing rapidly on a number of fronts.
The Wisconsin Dairy Artisan Network was established to provide support and mentoring activities. It sponsors an annual Field Days event to showcase successful operations; works closely with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) staff in the Value-Added Office, and has been active in supporting the development of curricula on business planning and process technology for small producers. Active and potential artisan producers are spread across the state, and traditional on-campus courses are not always feasible for them.
At the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, we teach four of the five basic courses required for the Wisconsin Cheesemaker’s license:
The column to the right displays the schedule for these courses. Click the course name for details.
Comments from Participants:
"The course was pretty fun and not stressful."
Justin Mullikin: Rice Lake, WI
"Ranee is enthusiastic about teaching, the course is intense, you need a good instructor."
Natasha Adderly: Bahamas
"Was a good experience, everyone was friendly, and the course was worth while."
Maria Paredes: Dothan, AL