Wisconsin lawmakers could soon give cheese official role

Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 14:33:10-04

      MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin lawmakers could soon make cheese the state's official dairy product.

Milk has enjoyed a designation as the state's official beverage since 1987 and the dairy cow became the state's domestic animal in 1971.

   Even though Wisconsin produces the most cheese in the country, the state filled with self-proclaimed "cheeseheads" hasn't honored the food with an official designation.

   State Senate and Assembly committees unanimously voted Thursday to move forward a bill from Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Todd Novak to change that. They got the idea from fourth-graders at Mineral Point Elementary School.

   The state produces around a quarter of the country's 11 billion pounds of cheese per year. Wisconsin cheeses earned top marks at recent World and U.S. Cheese Championships.