Contact: Rep. Todd Novak, 608.266.7502

Madison, WI – After passage in the Assembly today, Assembly Bill 73 and Senate Bill 44, which designates Cheese as the state diary product, authored by Rep. Todd Novak (Dodgeville) and Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) will head to the Senate for passage. The bill was introduced at the suggestion of the 4th graders at Mineral Point Elementary.

Prior to heading to the floor of the Assembly, the bill was heard by the Assembly Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection in a joint hearing on Thursday, March 23, 2017 and passed unanimously. “I think I can speak for the Assembly Agriculture Committee and say they really wowed us,” said Novak. “It was probably one of the most fun committee hearings I’ve ever been a part of.”

“We should vote to designate cheese as the state dairy product not just because the 4th grade class of Mineral Point Elementary asked, but to highlight the impact the cheese industry has on Wisconsin as a whole,” said Novak in his address to the Assembly.

According to the University of Wisconsin, dairy in aggregate (farming and processing) contributes 78,900 jobs, $3.9 billion to labor income, $7.2 billion to total income, and $43.4 billion to industrial sales. Wisconsin cheese sales have risen 63 percent in the last 25 years and they continue to grow each year.

“While the class was unable to make it to Madison to experience the next step in the process, I was excited to hear that they watched the assembly session on Wisconsin Eye to stay engaged from their classroom,” said Novak.

Assembly Bill 73 unanimously passed the Assembly 96-0.

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