Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
June 2007
Look Out, Bossie, Here Comes Nanny

Wisconsin Has Largest Goat Herd in U.S.

image of goat headThe Department of Commerce's recent $156,000 Community Development Block Grant to the City of Lancaster will support the Woolwich Dairy, Inc., expansion. Woolwich Dairy, Canada's largest goat cheese producer, has been exporting goat cheeses to the US since 1986. With a 20 percent share of the U.S. market and transportation costs rising, Woolwich decided to expand its production to the United States and chose Grant County over California and New Mexico sites for their U.S. headquarters and production facility.

When people think of Wisconsin, the Dairy State, they think of cows, but with 33,000 dairy goats in the state, Wisconsin has the largest goat herd in the United States. Goat's milk and cheeses provide a very palatable alternative to cow's milk/cheeses. Goat's milk is naturally homogenized and much less likely to trigger lactose intolerance problems for many people with allergies. Woolwich Dairy won Best Brie at the 2006 World Championship held Madison last year.

Nationwide the specialty cheese market, which is led by goat cheese, leapt 50% in the last ten years. Wisconsin's production of specialty cheeses tripled during that time period. Goat cheese products are projected to grow tenfold over the next decade. Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection recently added a specialist to assist the dairy goat industry.

-- Caryn Stone

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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