Friday, August 27, 2021

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Baldwin Visits Specialty Cheese to Discuss Workforce Development, Dairy Business Innovation Initiative

 

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Reeseville, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Specialty Cheese Company for a tour of the facilities and to discuss rural workforce development issues with the owners and local cheesemakers.

“Specialty Cheese Company is a leader in dairy business innovation, and demonstrates the value that can be created from pursuing new and emerging markets for dairy products,” said Senator Baldwin. “I will continue to fight for cheesemakers and rural Wisconsin as we craft our Build Back Better budget legislation.”

“It was an honor and a privilege to host Senator Baldwin and her staff,” said Paul Scharfman, President of Specialty Cheese Company. “The Senator has been a great friend of Wisconsin’s Dairy Industry. We were pleased to be able to show her our initiatives in manufacturing and workforce development.”

Senator Baldwin authored the bill creating the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative program, successfully shepherding its passage in 2018. As Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations, Baldwin works to secure funding for the program each year in order to support businesses like Specialty Cheese.  To date, the program has received $43.5 million.

Baldwin’s bill called for the establishment of regional initiatives to foster economic resilience and opportunity in the dairy industry. Wisconsin hosts the upper Midwest effort, known as the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), a partnership between the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA).  Earlier this summer the group announced its latest round of grants, including an award to Specialty Cheese Company. This funding will support their product development costs and related equipment purchases so they can bring new products to market. A list of recent awards can be found here.

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