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WCMA Pledges Second Gift of $100,000 for Construction of UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association today announced its Board of Directors’ pledge of a second gift of $100,000 to the Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, to help the school rebuild its dairy pilot plant.  WCMA kicked off the fundraising drive in 2014 with its initial gift of $100,000.

“WCMA members recognize education as the key to the future success of the dairy processing industry, and we’re proud to invest in projects that will help deliver the skilled dairy plant workers we need nationwide,” said Umhoefer.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UW-River Falls reinstated its Food Science and Technology program in 2016, and offers a food processing technology minor.  The school’s dairy processing plant also hosts continuing education classes focused on pasteurization, cheesemaking, and food safety.

To provide students in all programs with a hands-on learning experience, UW-River Falls plans to fully renovate its dairy processing plant, featuring new automation, piping, and equipment.  The project is estimated to cost $4 million, and $3.1 million has already been raised.  Construction is slated to begin in June 2018.

“Bridging this gap is a critical step, not only in getting the dairy pilot plant built, but in meeting our industry’s workforce development needs,” said Umhoefer.  “WCMA is proud to support the project, and invites members to match – or surpass – our gift, to get the plant up and running and students learning as soon as possible.”

Umhoefer noted that matching gifts of any amount will be gratefully accepted over the next three years.  To get involved, call 608-286-1001 or email jumhoefer@wischeesemakers.org.