Michigan Creameries Team Up – Grab Slice of Cheese Industry

From the Detroit Free Press:

At some Super Bowl in the future, will Michiganders be the ones called cheeseheads?

If some Michigan cheese makers have their way, you’ll be whittling those Wisconsin hats into Michigan-shaped mittens before you know it.

Eleven creameries, including two in Washtenaw County, have formed the Michigan Cheese Makers Cooperative — with the goal of going head-to-head with Wisconsin.

Specifically, the coalition wants to market members’ artisanal cheeses. Those cheeses, which can cost as much as $20 a pound, use only Michigan milk, are produced in small batches and are primarily handmade.

The whole effort has become easier, thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder’s emphasis on agriculture and the growth of the buy-local movement.

“We are going to beat Wisconsin,” said Matt Birbeck, supply chain and marketing specialist at Michigan State University’s Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, who helped create the co-op.
Dairy is a $5.9-billion business in Michigan, according the state Department of Agriculture.

Many see promise in Michigan’s growing artisanal cheese industry

When Anne Hoyt and her husband, John Hoyt, first started making artisanal cheese in the northern Lower Peninsula more than a decade and a half ago, few people knew what they were doing. She remembers having to continually explain to people that all cheese isn’t orange.

Read the whole article: Michigan creameries team up to try to grab a slice of cheese industry