Did you know?

  • Wisconsin Cheese Plants

    Wisconsin leads the nation in number of cheese plants with 128 – more than twice as many as any other state.
  • Wisconsin's Signature Industry

    Dairy is the largest segment of Wisconsin agriculture. Total Ag = $88.3 billion; dairy = $43.4 billion
  • Wisconsin Leads in Cheese Varieties

    Wisconsin cheesemakers produce over 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese; the runner-up comes in a distant second with 250 varieties.
  • Wisconsin Milk

    90% of Wisconsin's milk is made into cheese and 90% of that famous Wisconsin Cheese is sold outside of the state's borders.
  • Protein in Cheese

    An 8-ounce glass of milk contains about the same amount of protein as 1 1/2 ounces of Wisconsin Cheese.
  • Cheese Consumption

    U.S. per capita cheese consumption was 35.3 pounds in 2015. Our average consumption of cheese has increased 57% over the last 30 years.
  • Pizza

    Americans eat about 350 slices of pizza per second. That's enough to cover more than 90 football fields a day.
  • Anne Pickett

    In 1841, Mrs. Anne Pickett started the first home cheese factory in Wisconsin near Lake Mills. Mrs. Pickett used milk from her neighbors' cows to produce butter and cheese in her log cabin. This procedure continued until 1845, when the level of production and demand grew too large for her kitchen. By 1869, Wisconsin produced over 3 million pounds of cheese, and that number would more than quadruple within 10 years.
  • Brick Cheese

    Brick cheese was invented in Dodge County, Wisconsin, in 1877. Brick is named for its shape and because cheesemakers originally used bricks to press moisture from the cheese.
  • Tooth Decay

    Cheese helps prevent tooth decay. Firm cheeses, such as Cheddar, are most effective.
  • Craving

    Cheese is the number one food craving, even beating out chocolate! When respondents were asked which food gift they would like to receive, 19% of Americans said they want cheese – and only 13% said candy.
  • Colby

    In 1885, Colby cheese was invented in Colby, Wisconsin.
  • 1921

    In 1921, Wisconsin became the first state to establish cheese-grading standards to ensure consistent quality and flavor.
  • Ten Pounds

    It takes ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
  • Mozzarella

    Mozzarella cheese is the biggest-selling cheese variety in the United States, followed by Cheddar.
  • Cheese by the Ton

    On average, each American eats about 35 pounds of cheese every year. That adds up to more than a ton of cheese during a lifetime.
  • Rinds

    The outside rinds on cheese are edible, with the exception of waxed cheeses like Gouda and Edam. If you like it, eat it. If you don't, cut it off.
  • Cheese Consumption Leaders

    At over 35 pounds per capita, the United States ranks far behind many European countries for per capita consumption of cheese. Residents of France, Iceland and Germany all eat an average of more than 50 pounds of cheese per year.
  • Awards

    Wisconsin Cheese wins more awards than any other state or nation in the major national and international contests held within the United States each year.
  • U.S. Champion Cheese

    Wisconsin claimed the coveted "U.S. Champion" award at the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2017 biennial U.S. Championship Cheese Contests.
  • 14 out of 19 Awards

    Wisconsin cheesemakers have won 14 out of 19 "U.S. Champion" awards since the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest began in 1981.
  • 90%

    Wisconsin cheesemakers use about 90% of Wisconsin’s milk supply to make more than 3 billion pounds of cheese every year.
  • Licensed Cheesemakers

    Wisconsin has more licensed cheesemakers than any other state, and Wisconsin's cheesemakers produce more than 3 billion pounds of cheese each year.
  • Master Cheesemaker Program

    Wisconsin is the only state with a Master Cheesemaker program, a rigorous three-year course committed to superior quality, technical skills and craftsmanship. There are now 60 Master Cheesemakers at work throughout the state.
  • Best Taste

    Wisconsin has the best-tasting cheeses because of the grass the cows eat. The grass in America’s Dairyland is less acidic than in other areas of the country which results in cheese with a milder flavor.
  • Stringent Standards

    Wisconsin has the country’s most stringent state standards for cheesemaking and overall dairy product quality.
  • Wisconsin Top-Producing Cheese State

    Wisconsin is the No. 1 cheese-producing state in the country, with 26.6% of the total annual U.S. cheese production.
  • Limburger

    Wisconsin is the only producer of Limburger cheese in the country.
  • Specialty Cheeses

    Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of specialty cheeses, such as Gorgonzola, Gruyere, Asiago, Feta, Aged Cheddar, Gouda, Blue and many others, accounting for approximately 46% of total specialty cheese production in the United States.
  • 128 Cheese Plants

    Wisconsin’s 128 cheese plants produce more than 600 varieties, types and styles of Wisconsin Cheese – far more than any other state.
  • Storing Excess Milk

    Wisconsin's first cheesemakers were farm wives who, in the 1830s, began making cheese in their kitchens as a way of storing excess milk.
  • Newborn Calf

    A newborn calf weighs 90 pounds and can walk on its own one hour after birth.
  • Glasses of Milk

    A Wisconsin dairy cow produces an average of 7.5 gallons of milk each day. That’s enough for more than 120 eight-ounce glasses of milk every day.
  • Ice Cream Flavors

    According to the NPD Group's National Eating Trends In-Home Database, the top five ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, and butter pecan.
  • U.S. Yogurt Consumption

    Americans eat an average of 14.7 pounds of yogurt per person every year, double the 6.5 pounds per person Americans consumed fifteen years ago.
  • Cow Weight

    An average dairy cow weighs about 1,400 pounds.
  • Pints of Milk

    Approximately 6 billion half-pints of milk are served through federal school lunch, breakfast and special milk programs every year.
  • 2,739 Gallons

    Average milk production per Wisconsin cow each year is 23,552 pounds (or 2,739 gallons). That's enough for 43,824 glasses of milk from just one cow!
  • Chocolate Milk

    Chocolate milk and white milk both contain the same nine essential nutrients.
  • Sleeping Cows

    Contrary to popular opinion, cows sleep lying down – just like people!
  • Six Miles

    Cows have an acute sense of smell – they can smell something up to six miles away.
  • Consumption

    Cows have four stomach compartments and consume about 90 pounds of feed every day. They also drink the equivalent of a bathtub full of water – about 25 to 50 gallons – every day.
  • Chewing

    Cows spend an average of six hours each day eating, and an additional eight hours ruminating or chewing their cud. Most cows chew at least fifty times per minute!
  • Ice Cream to the Moon

    If all the ice cream eaten in the U.S. annually were put into cones and stacked on top of each other, the stack would be tall enough to reach to the moon and back.
  • 360 Cheeseburgers

    If people ate like cows, they would have to eat about 360 cheeseburgers and drink 400 to 800 glasses of water every day.
  • Stephen Babcock

    In 1890, Stephen Babcock of the University of Wisconsin developed the milkfat test that allowed dairymen to determine which cows produced the richest milk – the best for cheesemaking. This test is still used today.
  • First Dairy School

    In 1890, the nation's first dairy school was created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It remains the country's top Dairy Science Department.
  • National Ice Cream Month

    In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
  • Gallon of Ice Cream

    It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • A Pound of Butter

    It takes 21.8 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.
  • Carbohydrate-to-Protein

    Low-fat chocolate milk's optimal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio makes it an ideal beverage choice for athletes recovering after a workout.
  • Spicy Food

    Milk is better than water for cooling your mouth after eating spicy food. Milk products contain casein, a protein that cleanses and soothes your burning taste buds.
  • Family-Owned Farms

    More than 96 percent of Wisconsin's dairy farms are family owned.
  • Culver's

    Over 120 million pounds of milk are used to make the 150 million scoops of frozen custard that Culver's restaurants sell each year. That's enough milk to employ more than 5,400 of Wisconsin's dairy cows year-round.
  • U.S. Ice Cream Consumption

    Per capita ice cream consumption in the U.S. is about 20 pounds per year.
  • Chocolate Milk & Muscles

    Recent studies demonstrate that the nutrient composition of low-fat chocolate milk helps muscles recover faster after physical activity than other leading sports drinks.
  • Osteoporosis

    Scientific evidence suggests consuming adequate amounts of calcium or foods naturally rich in calcium such as milk, cheese, and yogurt throughout life may delay or minimize age-related bone loss and decrease the risk for osteoporosis.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure

    Eating a diet rich in low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables and consuming recommended amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium – nutrients found in dairy foods – shows positive benefits on preventing and lowering blood pressure.
  • Average Cow

    The average dairy cow eats 20 pounds of hay, 20 pounds of corn silage, 10 to 20 pounds of corn and 6 to 12 pounds of supplements each day. If people ate as much as cows, they would have to eat about 360 cheeseburgers and drink 400 to 800 glasses of water each day!
  • Average Milk Production

    The average milk production per cow in the United States is 22,774 pounds per year (2,648 gallons).
  • First Ice Cream Sundae

    The first ice cream sundae was served in Two Rivers, Wis. in 1881. George Hallaver, a customer at Edward C. Berner's soda fountain in Two Rivers, asked Edward to top off his dish of ice cream with the chocolate sauce used for chocolate sodas. The new concoction caught on and was originally offered only on Sundays.
  • Picturesque

    The lure of Wisconsin's picturesque dairy farms, pastures and rolling hills helps make tourism one of the state's top industries.
  • Squirts

    There are approximately 340 to 350 squirts in a gallon of milk.
  • Seven Breeds of Dairy Cattle

    There are seven breeds of dairy cattle – Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Red and White Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn.
  • Calcium

    To get the same amount of calcium provided by 3 cups of milk you would have to eat one of the following: 15 navel oranges, 29 medium russet potatoes or 21 cups fresh broccoli.
  • 14.2% of U.S. Milk Production

    Today, America’s Dairyland produces over 30 billion pounds of milk every year. That’s about 14.2% of total U.S. production.
  • Vanilla

    Vanilla is still America's favorite ice cream flavor.
  • America's Dairyland

    Wisconsin has been a leader in dairying for more than a century and was officially named "America's Dairyland" in 1930.
  • Wisconsin has more dairy cows per square mile than any other state.

    Wisconsin has more dairy cows per square mile than any other state.
  • 2.5 Billion Pounds of Milk Monthly

    Wisconsin produces an average of 2.5 billion pounds of milk each month!
  • Moderate Climate

    Wisconsin's moderate climate, plentiful natural resources and rich dairy heritage, make it an ideal place for dairying.
  • Nine Essential Nutrients

    With nine essential nutrients, milk is a wise – and delicious – beverage choice. Have you had your three servings of dairy today?
  • Largest Industries

    Agriculture is Wisconsin's signature industry and has been for 175 years. It remains one of the state's largest industries, providing $88.3 billion in economic activity and employing one of every nine people.
  • Dairy Business

    If you live in Wisconsin, you're in the dairy business. With an economic impact of $43.4 billion per year, Wisconsin dairy farms support schools, roads, banks, grocery stores and other local businesses.
  • 300 different career choices

    More than 300 different career choices – on and off the farm – are available within the Wisconsin dairy industry.
  • $1.6 Billion

    Since 2004, dairy and cheese processors have reinvested nearly $1.6 billion to our local communities through plant expansions and improvements.
  • Average Farm

    The average 250-cow dairy farm contributes over $1 million each year to our state's economy.
  • Economic Activity

    The average dairy cow in Wisconsin generates $34,000 a year in economic activity. These dollars circulate throughout the local community, helping to support schools, roads and local businesses.
  • State Economy

    Wisconsin dairies help to fuel our state economy at the rate of more than $80,000 per minute.
  • 30 Billion Pounds of Milk Annually

    Wisconsin dairy farms produce over 30 billion pounds of milk every year. That's about 14.2% of the country's total milk supply.
  • More Milk than Citrus or Potatoes

    Wisconsin's $43.4 billion dairy industry far outweighs Florida's $10.7 billion citrus industry or Idaho's $4 billion potato industry.
  • Cheese Plants

    Wisconsin's 128 cheese plants produce more than 3.2 billion pounds of cheese every year.
  • Cheese Exports

    Wisconsin ranks second in the nation in cheese exports. The top international destinations for Wisconsin cheese are Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
  • World Cheese Production Leader

    If Wisconsin were a country, it would rank 4th in the world in terms of total cheese production, behind the U.S., Germany and France, and just ahead of Italy.
  • Tops in Cheddar

    Wisconsin is the nation's largest producer of Cheddar cheese. The state also leads in production of Limburger, Feta, Muenster, Parmesan, Provolone and Romano.
  • American Cheese Society Competition

    Wisconsin cheesemakers have claimed the Best of Show award at the annual American Cheese Society Judging and Competition eight times since 1998.
  • 2016 American Cheese Society Competition

    Wisconsin won 28% of all awards given at the 2016 American Cheese Society Judging and Competition, including the coveted Best of Show title.
  • Cow Temperature

    The average body temperature of a cow is 101.5° Fahrenheit.
  • Unique Cow Spots

    Like human fingerprints, no two cows have exactly the same hair coat pattern of spots.
  • Bovine Dental Facts

    Cows have 32 teeth—eight incisors on the bottom front, six molars on the top and bottom of each side, and a tough pad of skin (instead of teeth) on the top front.
  • Cows are Herbivores

    Since cows eat plants and not meat, they are classified as herbivores. Cows convert grass, hay and other feeds to produce milk.
  • Name That Cow

    Cows go by many names. A female calf is a heifer. A male calf is a bull. A calf's mother is a dam and its father is a sire. A heifer that has given birth to a calf is a cow. A cow that has recently given birth is called a "fresh cow."
  • Cow Milking Cycle

    Heifers usually have their first calf around age 2. A cow's gestation period is about nine months—just like a human. A cow must give birth to start lactating (producing milk). She will give milk for about 10 months, then milk production is stopped (dry period) two months prior to giving birth and entering another 10-month milk cycle.
  • Colostrum

    The first secretion a cow produces after calving is called colostrum. Colostrum is thick, creamy, and rich in antibodies and nutrients. The antibodies help calves build immunity against diseases. Most dairy producers strive to get a newborn calf to drink 3 to 4 quarts of colostrum within an hour after birth since its ability to absorb antibodies diminishes quickly within just a few hours.
  • Milking Every Day

    Dairy farms operate seven days a week, 365 days a year. This means that dairy farmers must milk cows every day, even on holidays! Cow are usually milked two or three times each day.
  • Feeding Those Calves

    Calves are fed milk or milk replacer (specially formulated powdered milk that has been mixed with water) until they are 8-9 weeks old.
  • Milking Safety

    Before attaching a milking machine to a cow's udder, the teats and part of the udder are washed with a disinfectant solution and dried. This removes dirt to ensure quality milk. After milking, a disinfectant is applied to the teats to prevent germs from getting into teats and the udder. Milking equipment is washed, rinsed and sanitized between milkings.
  • Ayrshire Breed

    The Ayrshire breed of dairy cows are moderately large and distinguishable with their reddish/mahogany and white haircoat. Their milk is known to be rich in butterfat.
  • Brown Swiss Breed

    Brown Swiss cows, typically silvery gray to brown in color, are known for yielding large volumes of milk, high in butterfat and protein.
  • Guernsey Breed

    Typically high in protein and butterfat, Guernsey milk contains yellow-colored butterfat, which is rich in beta-carotene. Guernsey cow hair coat patterns are similar to Holsteins but are fawn (reddish/orange color) and white, rather than black (or red) and white.
  • Holstein Breed

    Holstein is the most "popular" breed of dairy cattle, accounting for more than 90% of the Wisconsin dairy cattle population. They produce more milk than other dairy cattle breeds and are easy to identify with their black (or red) and white markings.
  • Jersey Breed

    The second-most common dairy breed in the United States, Jerseys are known for their small size, nutrient-dense milk, early maturity and milk production efficiency. Its coat color varies from dark brown to fawn, with an occasional splash of white.
  • Milking Shorthorn Breed

    With a red, red and white, white or roan (very close mixture of red and white) coat color, Milking Shorthorn cows efficiently convert feed into milk and are known for their durability and longevity.
  • 2016 World Champion Cheese

    Wisconsin took home the top prize at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest, besting over 2,900 entries from 23 countries, 31 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Overall, Wisconsin captured 38% of all awards given out at this contest – far more than any other state or country.