Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Cheese! Bill requires UW to use state products

A new proposal in the state Assembly would require all
cheese served?in University of Wisconsin System campuses?to come
exclusively from Wisconsin cheese?manufacturers. Currently, contracts and
orders for cheese give preference to Wisconsin producers but do not insist
cheese come only from Wisconsin. The proposal, written by Rep. Jeff Smith,
D-Eau Claire, aims to?assist Wisconsin cheese producers as well as
provide?UW?System students with ?flavorful? Wisconsin?cheese.

Nate Williams,?legislative aide for Smith, described
the twofold?purpose of the bill.

“We do want to help the dairy industry in the
state,” Williams said. “We also want to provide UW System students
with high-quality Wisconsin?cheese that students would enjoy eating.”
Williams added the proposal is unique in that?no other law mandates a
product served on UW System campuses?come exclusively from Wisconsin.
However, Williams did say the proposed?cheese bill would follow similar
initiatives around the state, such as the “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin”
movement that encourages Wisconsinites to consume locally grown and produced


Williams?also?mentioned the intended
cultural?aim of eating cheese exclusively from Wisconsin.

“This bill will hopefully build loyalty and
support?for Wisconsin cheese among college students, which is
important,”?he said.

Williams believed the proposal would not get a vote before
the end of the legislative session in mid-March, but was optimistic of the
bill’s future.

“The proposal has bipartisan support, and I believe it
has a very good chance of passage,” he said.

Cheese production is an integral part of Wisconsin’s
economy.?According to the United States Department of
Agriculture,?Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state in the
country as of 2006.?The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board says Wisconsin
makes?more than 600 varieties of cheese, eclipsing its nearest competitor,
California, by more than 300.

Allie Johnson, a University of Wisconsin freshman, said the
idea would evoke cheese pride among?Wisconsin college students.

“I think if we only have Wisconsin cheese, it would
make me?and other Wisconsin students very proud of our state,” she

Paul Evans, director of University Housing, declined to
comment on the proposal.

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