Monday, June 14, 2010

June is Dairy Month

June is Turkey Lovers Month, National Soul Food Month, but here in Wisconsin it’s Dairy Month. Since 1937, June has been set aside as a time to pay tribute to the vital role milk and dairy products play in the American diet and the outstanding contribution of America’s dairy farmers. We are celebrating here in Reedsburg this week with “Butterfest”. The history of Reedsburg butter dates back to 1887. This is when the Prairie du Sac Creamery purchased a site for a plant here in Reedsburg. The story of Reedsburg butter is interesting. Did you know in 1895 the creamery was making a total of 40,000 pounds of butter? After a fire destroyed it a new plant was built across from the depot at South Park and Railroad Streets. It became one of the largest and best arranged in the state. In 1902 it had 120 regular patrons who delivered their milk daily to the Reedsburg Creamery. Their total output that year was 300,000 pounds of butter. This plant was purchased by Dolly Madison and also produced ice cream and bottled milk. Butter was also produced on South Pine Street at the Nestle Building now the Foremost Farms Plant. This is the plant where 50 million pounds of butter a year were produced in the early seventies and the reason that each year we celebrate “Butterfest”. The library's local history files include a folder of articles on Reedsburg's rich history with butter. We have just order a new book in celebration of this special month “Great Big Cheese Cookbook” which is a compendium of recipes from over 60 world class chefs, featuring more than 300 classic and modern cheesy delights.

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