Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Update

Lots of news this week and I can't decide on one thing to write about, so we're going for a weekend update today:

1. Kiss Our Dairy Air: College Click TV is promoting UW-Madison with a new poster (pictured above). I love how they describe the college in this quick blurb.

"Madison's got a good hometown feel--wholesome and relaxing. This research driven mega school of the Midwest offers innumerable resources in its science and engineering programs. However, the arts and humanities remain neglected as a result. Seek out what you want and you shall find. Lots of clubs, intense school spirit, and more cans of beer than actual people gives students a very genuine taste of the college life. Students here love their overall experience. The routine is simple: beer,, study,, beer...more beer."

Hey, what about the cheese? Geez, people, beer & cheese ... let's get it right.

2. Grafton Village, Faribault Dairy Collaborate On New Layered Cheese: Grafton Village Cheese in Vermont and Faribault Dairy, located just across the border in Minnesota, have partnered to create a new, limited edition cheese called Grafton Duet. It's made of three layers of Grafton Premium Cheddar and two layers of Faribault Dairy’s St. Pete’s Blue Cheese. The limited edition cheese is available only through the Grafton Village website – –and at the company’s two Vermont retail stores in Grafton and Brattleboro.

Congrats to Faribault cheesemaker Jeff Jirik -- sure wish we could get you to move to Wisconsin. Big sigh. But I'll enjoy your cheese anyway. :)

3. Majority of U.S. Goat Processors to Expand Plant Capacity: a new report just released this week by the USDA reports that about two-thirds of goat milk processors responding to a recent survey plan to increase their plant capacity in the next five years, while very few goat milk plants plan on either going out of business completely or discontinuing production of goat milk products. Email me for a complete copy of the report -- it has some great statistics on types of goat cheeses being made, prices paid to farmers and details on expansion plans.

4. Turns out the Sky is NOT Falling: Ed Jesse, professor and and dairy policy specialist at UW-Madison released a major report this week reversing his sobering trend projections made earlier this decade of declining Wisconsin milk production. Instead, he says the state is poised to break its previous annual milk production record of 25 billion pounds set 20 years ago.

"Wisconsin’s dairy sector is in a positive state of growth and transition,” Jesse says.

Jesse says Wisconsin cow numbers bottomed out in March, 2005, at 1.233 million head. Last year, the average number of dairy cows on state dairy farms was 1.247 million head. The Wisconsin dairy herd expansion“has been steady for 42 months,” and "this kind of stability in cow numbers has not been observed in more than 20 years.”

And you all thought I was just being optimistic about Wisconsin's growing dairy industry by writing a blog about it. Ha! Take that, Wisconsin naysayers!

Seriously, just eat our cheese. It's awesome. Have a great weekend everybody!

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