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Grants help local cheesemakers thrive

Thanks to a pair of grants, you will see more cheese churned out by a local cheesemaker. Renard’s Cheese, located in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma, was one of 19 Wisconsin dairy processors to receive a Dairy Processor Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection earlier this month. The $24,000 grant will be used to develop a new Factory Equipment Grant to ease the physical demands of artisan cheese making and increase production capabilities. Renard’s Cheese produced over three million pounds of cheese last year but had to turn away orders for almost as much because of production limits. As they plan their expansion efforts in the future, owners Chris and Ann Renard say the grant dollars will go a long way.

Renard’s Cheese also received a separate grant that will be used to offset the investment in new packaging equipment. While the business invests in better equipment, they are doing the same for their employees. Renard’s Cheese recently honored Elijah Pinkert for bringing his interest in cheesemaking from his family’s stovetop to their operations, thanks to a partnership with the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship Program. 

 

Door Artisan Cheese in Egg Harbor also received a DATCP grant to help market its products to a wider audience.

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