Editor"s note: The "WMMB Link" is a monthly column authored by a dairy farmer/Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board member, designed to inform dairy producers about WMMB activities. This month"s column features Stacy Eberle, WMMB District 25 director, Eb-Acres Orchestrated Dreams, Monroe, Wis.
In these first several weeks of the new year, have you accidently written 2014 instead of 2015? You"re not alone. While 2014 was a good year for many of us, as well as the Wisconsin dairy industry, now"s the time to look forward to a new year and fresh beginnings.
At the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), we"re doing just that. We"ve been tracking developments in the food industry, and recently reported new trends that will influence the way people consume cheese. With the growth of online shopping, snacking, bold flavors, pairings, convenience foods and an ongoing love for natural artisan foods, WMMB is prepared to capitalize on these trends.
Fact: American cheese consumption increased 42% during the last 25 years.
A new article available at www.WisconsinCheeseTalk.com, Eight Ways You"ll Eat Cheese in 2015, features each new trend and how Wisconsin cheese can be a part of it. From new smartphone apps to guiltless snack ideas, WMMB is finding ways to help people enjoy Wisconsin cheese.
2014 ended with a bang for Wisconsin cheese. America"s Dairyland continues to lead in capturing cheese awards. Last month, Wisconsin won more awards for its cheese than any other U.S. state at the esteemed World Cheese Awards. Bringing home 28 awards (approximately 33% of the U.S. total), two super gold medals and a "Major Winner" award in the Best Overseas Additive Cheese category, Wisconsin cheese dominated. Winners included: Sartori (14 awards), Emmi Roth USA (6), Arthur Schuman (3), The Artisan Cheese Exchange (2), Burnett Dairy Cooperative (2) and Carr Valley Cheese (1).
The World Cheese Awards, now in its 26th year, had about 2,600 entries from 33 countries. Ten U.S. states took home awards, and we hope to top the list again this year.
I"m sure the Packers playoff loss left many of you with a heavy heart. While we wouldn"t describe that game as "fun", WMMB did enjoy some social media success during the gridiron match-up. Facebook posts on Dairy Doing More reached nearly 40,000 non-paid viewers, and engaged more than 4,000 people who Liked, Commented about, or Shared the posts. Check out the page at www.Facebook.com/DairyDoingMore.
Even though the Packers won"t be in this Superbowl, WMMB will be pushing Wisconsin cheese for the big event. We have several web pages dedicated to game day entertaining, like dairy dips at www.eatwisconsincheese.com/entertainment/DairyDips, elegant appetizers at www.eatwisconsincheese.com/entertainment/PicksAndBites, and cheese and beer/wine pairings at www.cheesecupid.com.
So, with the fresh optimism of a new year, I raise a glass (of milk, of course) to Wisconsin dairy farmers. Here"s to new opportunities and a very successful 2015!