Colby would be official Wisconsin cheese under bill

By SCOTT BAUER Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In cheese-obsessed Wisconsin, which proudly touts itself as America's Dairyland, the dairy cow is the official domestic animal, milk is the official state beverage and cheese is the official dairy product.

But believe it or not, in a state that produces more cheese than any other at 3.4 billion pounds each year, there is no official state cheese.

A bipartisan bill being heard by a state Assembly committee on Wednesday would change that.

The measure makes colby, which was created in Wisconsin more than 100 years ago, the official cheese.

The bill must pass the Legislature and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.

“Today, we heard testimony from people across the state on the history and importance of Colby cheese to the State of Wisconsin”, Senator Bernier stated. “In just a few generations Colby has gone from a farm family recipe to world famous, driving America’s love for cheese and putting Wisconsin on the cheese making map.”

Colby cheese was created in 1885 when 16-year-old Joseph F. Steinwand tried the cold washed curd process in his hometown of Colby in Wisconsin, officials say. 

“Colby cheese is a classic Wisconsin cheese, with a unique rural history that people across this country enjoy as much as Wisconsinites. It is time we honor the legacy of the dairy state and give Wisconsin an Official Cheese we can all be proud of,” stated Representative Rozar.


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