Cheese and Dairy Companies
“I love the industry, the people, and the cheese.” – Bob Wolter, Business Intermediary
Recent Cheese & Dairy Transactions
When I began with CBS Global in 2008, I was advised to develop a niche, learn it, join the industry organizations, get to know key influential individuals within the industry and network with them in a mutually beneficial business relationship.
I chose the Cheese and Dairy Industry, which happens to represent 25% of Wisconsin’s GDP…Who knew! I got to work developing a database of cheese and related companies and started marketing our services at CBS Global.
We met Dan Carter, who was a lifelong owner and operator of a large cheese cooperative called Dan Carter Inc. or DCI. He was appointed by then, Senator Kohl to head up the Dairy Business Innovation Center as its Director with the focus on assisting companies and individuals expand their businesses, create new businesses and opportunities through creative financing, grants, unique partnerships expanding and improving the Dairy Industry.
He became our mentor, advisor and consultant and helped introduce CBS Global to his circles in the industry and at the Department of Agriculture. From there we met Rich Scheuerman, who was the former CEO of Alto Dairy, a large cheese manufacturing cooperative. He is currently a consultant to cheese and cheese related companies and is a consultant with CBS Global as well.
Wisconsin’s Cheesemakers are experiencing a renaissance with Specialty and Artisan Cheeses and the reason is the creativity, experimentation and expertise of the Cheesemakers. Wisconsin is the epicenter of cheese making in this country and we owe it to the early Swiss, Dutch and German settlers that came into this area back in the mid 19th century. Wisconsin’s Cheese industry has the best infrastructure in the country. With the help of Babcock Hall at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the Center for Dairy Research is on the cutting edge of science and research, always expanding the boundaries of knowledge of dairy uses and products.
Back in the year 2000, Artisan and Specialty Cheese sales represented less than 10% of Wisconsin’s production. Fast forward to 2014 and sales represented nearly 25% of Wisconsin’s total production. Wisconsin on average wins 35 to 40 percent of the awards at the National Cheese Contests on a regular basis and I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending two women who won the National and World Cheese contests respectively. Katie Hedrich of LaClare Farms won the US Cheese contest in 2011 at 25 years old!! Marieke Penterman of Holland’s Family Farms won the World Cheese Championship with her aged Gouda in 2013.
In January of 2016 Michael Schwantes and I were invited to a Trade Mission in Cuba. One of the industries Cuba is interested in is dairy and it’s food products. We invited the Executives of Foremost Farms, Inc. and Winona Foods to join us. It is our goal to be the conduit for exporting dairy products to Cuba and Latin America.