Saputo Cheese Plant

Pioneer Dairy Club explores cheese industry

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      Last Tuesday, members of the Pioneer Dairy Club at UW-Platteville, expanded their knowledge on the Cheese Industry with a tour of the Montchevre Saputo Cheese Plant located in Belmont, WI. At this cheese plant, all the cheese is made from goats’ milk, which gives it a unique twist. “It was really a unique experience to tour a cheese plant in person. Even though I dislike goat milk, the cheese tasted amazing. Overall it was really neat to see the dairy goat side of the dairy industry.” Brittany Rennhack a member of the Dairy club said.

      Saputo Cheese was started in 1954 by the Saputo family and continually grew from a small startup business. Today, Saputo is one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world with products sold in over 50 countries. 

      To start off, the club members were given background on the plant and a brief introduction of what tasks employees perform. Members tasted some samples from the goat cheese plant. During the tour, members were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in a cheese processing plant. 

       Many different steps are involved with cheese making from when it starts by leaving the farm, to when it is put on the shelf at a grocery store. This plant showed the members where the cheese is stored, how it is made and everyone who works with the product, to make sure it passes the inspection of taste, quality and look. 

       “I thought the tour was a great way to see the other side of the industry that most people do not often have the opportunity to see. It was great to see all the different processes that go into making each kind of cheese. I felt the tour really showed how much Montchevre cares about not only their customers but also their farmers. Overall, it was a worth-while experience,” Ben Bruss, a member of the Dairy Club, said.

       “It was great to see what happens to milk after it leaves the farm since most of us in Dairy Club focus solely on the production of milk on the farm. While the Saputo plant in Belmont processes goat milk into cheese and most of my experience is with cow’s milk, it’s still a very similar process and I enjoyed being exposed to it all since small ruminant dairying (goats and sheep) is gaining momentum in Wisconsin,” member of the Dairy Club Sam Peetz added.

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