Press Release: ICYMI: Gov. Evers Celebrates America’s Dairyland Throughout June Dairy Month

Office of Governor Tony Evers
ICYMI: Gov. Evers Celebrates America’s Dairyland Throughout June Dairy Month
MADISON — Gov. Evers today recapped his visits with dairy farmers, processors, producers, and local community and agricultural industry leaders celebrating June Dairy Month and America’s Dairyland across the state over the month of June. During the visits, Gov. Evers highlighted the strength of the state’s dairy industry as well as efforts and investments by the governor and the Evers Administration to support Wisconsins farmers, their families, and the dairy industry over the past five years.

“Wisconsin didn’t become America’s Dairyland by chance—it’s thanks to the hard work of our farmers and their families, processors, and producers who’ve been the backbone of our state for generations and still are to this day,” said Gov. Evers. “Whether it’s producing a quarter of the nations cheese and over 32 billion pounds of milk in 2023 alone or contributing more than $45 billion annually to the state’s economy, dairy is part of our DNA as Wisconsinites, and it’s a history and tradition we’re incredibly proud of. Thank you to all of the folks who opened their homes, farms, businesses, and so many others and welcomed me during June Dairy Month, and I look forward to our continued work together celebrating and supporting America’s Dairyland all year round.

The governor kicked off June Dairy Month with his weekly radio address, focusing on the states dairy industry and encouraging Wisconsinites to support local dairy farmers. The governor’s radio address is available here. Gov. Evers also proclaimed June 2024 as “June Dairy Month” throughout the state of Wisconsin. A copy of the governor’s 2024 June Dairy Month proclamation is available here. Wisconsin’s dairy industry is a significant part of the state’s cultural heritage and a central driver of the state’s economic future. According to DATCP, Wisconsin is home to nearly 6,000 dairy farms—more than any other state—and the dairy industry contributes $45.6 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy.

Gov. Evers this year received the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) 2024 Cheese Champion Award “for his dedication to maintaining the state’s leadership in the dairy industry.” More on WCMA’s Cheese Champion Award is available here. A photo of the governor with his award and WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer is available here.

Additionally, in celebration of the month, the governor did a statewide tour visiting farmers and producers across the state. On Monday, June 3, Gov. Evers visited Tri-Fecta Farms Family Market in Fox Lake, where he toured the farm, learned about the farm’s sustainability efforts, and met with the Schultz family. Keven Schultz, a 2024 Master Agriculturalist, started the farm with his wife Cheryl in 1979. Today, their three adult kids and their families largely run the farm operations. Gov. Evers was joined for the tour by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Randy Romanski. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

On Friday, June 14, Gov. Evers, joined by First Lady Kathy Evers, started their day with a tour of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese in Waterloo. A member of WCMA, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese makes award-winning cheese from milk from their own Holstein cows and has received several awards for their mozzarella, mascarpone, cheese curds, and Oaxaca, including several awards from the World Champion Cheese Contest. The governor and first lady were joined for the tour by WMCA Executive Director Umhoefer and Senior Director Rebekah Sweeney. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

On Saturday, June 15, Gov. Evers attended the annual Sheboygan County Dairy Breakfast at Vandoske Dairy Farms in Cleveland, where he was joined by DATCP Deputy Secretary Aileen Switzer. While there, the governor met with the Vandoske family and joined Sheboygan County Dairy Promotion Association Director Terry Mentink and the Vandoske family on a tour of the farm. The governor also got a sneak peek of the Vandoske’s new on-farm ice cream shop, which opened this month. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

On Wednesday, June 26, Gov. Evers visited Pine River Pre-Pack Inc. in Newton, where he was joined by DATCP Secretary Romanski and Rebekah Sweeney from WCMA. During the visit, the governor and secretary went on a tour of the facility, where they saw the warehouses and production rooms and saw the process of mixing and filling of the cheese spreads. Additionally, in January, DATCP announced Pine River Pre-Pack Inc. received a grant through the state’s Dairy Processor Grant Program, a program the governor has been proud to support through his budgets, including increasing support for the program in his 2023-25 biennial budget by $300,000 in each year of the biennium. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

On Friday, June 28, Gov. Evers visited Weiss Family Farms in Durand and was joined by DATCP Secretary Romanski. Weiss Family Farms started its operations in 1882, and seven generations later, their herd of 1,850 dairy cows supplies approximately 150,000 pounds of milk to Eau Galle Cheese in Durand each day. During their visit, the governor and secretary met with the Weiss family and took a tour of the farm. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

To conclude his 2024 June Dairy Month visits, the governor visited Nordic Creamery in Westby, which opened a new storefront in 2021 with the help of a grant from the governors Main Street Bounceback Grant Program. Additionally, in January, DATCP announced Nordic Creamery received a Dairy Processor Grant, which they have used to produce new A2 milk cheese varieties. While there, the governor also saw the petting zoo and small picnic area that Nordic Creamery is using to expand its business to focus on agritourism as well. Photos of the visit are available here and here.

Gov. Evers has been proud to support Wisconsin’s dairy industry over the past five years by directing $100 million to support Wisconsin farmers in all 72 counties through the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, increasing funding for the Dairy Processor Grant Program by $1 million in total over the last two biennial budgets, signing legislation and supporting initiatives to promote Wisconsin’s export program and dairy exports, and bolstering the long-term viability of the dairy industry by investing in programs and projects like the Dairy Innovation Hub and the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to a $300,000 increase each year for the Dairy Processor Grant Program to help businesses improve and modernize their operations, the 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers made sure farmers and producers have reliable roads to transport their goods and supplies safely and securely from point A to point B by providing $150 million for a new Agricultural Road Improvement Program.

An online version of this release is available here.