OPPORTUNITIES IN WISCONSIN FOR...
OPPORTUNITIES: DAIRY INDUSTRY
Wisconsin ranks first in the United States in cheese production and second in milk production.1 Over 240 dairy plants2 contribute to this $20 billion industry,3 which provides 40 percent of the nation's cheese and 20 percent of its butter.4 As a byproduct of cheese production, Wisconsin produces 300 million lbs. of dry whey, the most of any state.1
The dairy industry is based on milk production. Milk production begins with the livestock industry, where dairy cows are fed specific feeds to maximize milk production. Milk is shipped from local farms to dairy plants. Dairy foods include a diverse group of foods including fluid milk, fermented milk products such as buttermilk and yogurt, market creams, butter, concentrated milk products such as evaporated and condensed milk, dried milk products such as dry cream and malted milk powder, cheese and frozen desserts.5
Wisconsin produces over 2 billion pounds of cheese annually.1 Cheese production begins with pasteurization of the milk, followed by setting, curd formation, cooking, draining of whey, salting and ripening.5 Over 20,000 pounds1 of cottage cheese is produced from skim milk.5 Wisconsin butter production was over 300 thousand pounds in 2002.1 Butter production entails cream pasteurization, chilling, churning and salting.5
Whey is often an important ingredient in food products such as ice cream, bakery goods, high-protein beverages and animal feed. Ten units of milk produce one unit of cheese and nine units of whey. Large cheese plants usually integrate whey-concentrating facilities into production to avoid whey waste disposal problems.
 National Agricultural Statistics Service. Wisconsin's Rank in the Nation's Agriculture , 2002. (2004 Apr 9)
 Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Wisconsin 1995 Dairy Facts.
 Wisconsin Department of Commerce. 2003. Dairy 2020 Initiative. (2004 Apr 9)
 NSTATE Wisconsin. 2003. (2004 Apr 9)
 Wolff, Ivan A. Ed. 1982. CRC Handbook of Processing and Utilization in Agriculture: Vol. I Animal Products. Boca Raton, FL.