WCMA Member Donations Boost UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant Project

WCMA News ,

Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is proud to announce member donations from Saputo Cheese USA Inc., Klondike Cheese Company, Nasonville Dairy, Chr. Hansen, Inc., Eau Galle Cheese, and Schuman Cheese-Lake Country Dairy have boosted its second pledge drive for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant Project to $300,000 raised. WCMA supplier member Ampco Pumps Company is also making a generous in-kind contribution of equipment.

WCMA itself made an initial project contribution of $100,000 in 2014 and kicked off the second drive with $100,000 in January 2018.

“WCMA members recognize the critical role that colleges and universities play in the development of a skilled workforce and they are enthusiastically supporting efforts to provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director.

UW-River Falls offers a complete Food Science and Technology major, as well as continuing education classes focused on pasteurization, cheesemaking, and food safety. To deliver hands-on experience, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences plans to fully renovate the dairy processing plant including new automation, piping, and other equipment. The construction project, slated to begin in June 2018, is estimated to cost $4 million. $3.3 million has already been raised.

Saputo Cheese USA Inc. donated $100,000 and will join the UW-River Falls Dairy Plant Advisory Committee, which will allow the Company to consult in the renovation process, offer placements to graduates, attend workshops and promote product development research projects.

“At Saputo, we believe the future is created by what we do today. Supporting the UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Project reflects our promise to promote practical learning of dairy processing and invest in the next generation of cheesemakers, dairy scientists and food safety specialists,” said Terry Brockman, President and Chief Operation Officer, Saputo Cheese USA Inc.

Klondike Cheese Company is contributing $33,000 to the project. Nasonville Dairy of Marshfield has donated an additional $25,000 gift, bringing its total contributions to $75,000. Chr. Hansen, Inc. has pledged $22,500, and Eau Galle Cheese of Durand and Schuman Cheese-Lake Country Dairy of Turtle Lake have each made gifts of $10,000. Ampco Pumps Company’s in-kind contribution of pumps eliminates a significant equipment expense.

WCMA notes that a gift of any amount will be gratefully accepted by the UW-River Falls Foundation. Financial contributions can be pledged over the next three years, while equipment contributions must be confirmed by May 15, 2018. To get involved, call 608-286-1001 or email jumhoefer@wischeesemakers.org.