However, there’s more to Wisconsin’s dairy farms and cheese plants than top-quality cheese and dairy products. Wisconsin dairy entrepreneurs are also pioneers in environmental efforts, from responsible caretaking of farmland, to building dairy plants using sustainable resources.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese exemplifies Wisconsin’s ongoing efforts to support sustainable practices. The farm’s methane digester turns the methane from manure into electrical power, producing enough electricity to not only power the farm and cheese factory, but also 20 nearby homes.
Wisconsin cheesemaker Willi Lehner of Bleu Mont Dairy reduces his energy use by employing energy-efficient construction methods. Lehner’s Alpine-inspired cheeses are carefully aged in energy-efficient cheese curing facilities. His current facility is constructed with a straw-bale frame, a method that uses sustainable materials that are also known for their insulating properties. In addition, Lehner has an underground cheese-curing vault that does not require heating or cooling to maintain the proper temperature.
At Cedar Grove Cheese, owner Bob Wills has developed his own wastewater purification plant called the “living machine.” Tropical plants and lower-level invertebrates in the greenhouse-like building help remove pollutants in the wastewater from the cheesemaking production.
For more information about Wisconsin’s dairy artisans and Wisconsin Cheese, visit eatwisconsincheese.com.