Chelsea Green Publishing

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Open Letter to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc. 8418 Excelsior Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53717 cc: Governor Walker, Senator Fitzgerald, House Speaker Fitzgerald James Robson, President Stan Woodworth, Vice President WMMB, The current Wisconsin budget crisis has caught the attention of many people outside of Wisconsin. The proposed budget, as it stands right now, seems to many of us as an unprecedented and undeserved attack on one of the most basic rights of organized labor: the right to collectively bargain. Customers at our store have been asking about what they can do. Some have even brought up their willingness and desire to boycott Wisconsin products if this current budget passes. You know me. You know I have been a long-time supporter of Wisconsin cheese and that we carry a lot of it, especially for a California supermarket. I have no wish to stop carrying any of your numerous cheeses that we have on our shelves. (It varies of course, but right now we have about 40 different cheeses from about 15 Wisconsin cheesemakers.) I love Wisconsin cheese. However, if this current budget passes it will make Wisconsin a bad word among many people who shop and who work in our store. Since you are in the marketing business, you can well understand that the kind of result a political decision like this can have in many of the cities that sell a lot of specialty cheese. You know that it doesn’t take much of a decline in sales for a perishable food to lose its place on the shelves; that’s the nature of the business. It doesn’t even require an organized boycott, just the change in consumer perception from Wisconsin being a “friendly state of cheese lovers” to “that mean-spirited state that hates unions and teachers”. Because I care about Wisconsin dairy farmers on a personal and professional basis, I do not want to see that happen. For the good of Wisconsin cheesemakers I personally ask that you put what pressure you can bear on the legislature to not pass a budget that strips organized labor of their rights. This is an issue that goes beyond Democrat or Republican and beyond state lines. Taking a budget crisis (that many see as manufactured for this purpose) as an excuse to end the right to collectively bargain is wrong. This is not a threat. I am not speaking for my workplace because, as a cooperative, my workplace is a democracy and does not have an official position on this issue. What I am saying is that the Wisconsin state budget has ceased to be a local issue. What happens next may very well affect every business in the state. Since Wisconsin’s most visible business is cheese, I think you owe it to your members to take a stand against this budget. Thank you, Gordon Edgar Cheese Buyer Read the original post on Gordonzola’s blog.
cheesemonger Gordon Edgar is the author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge.

Great Cheeses from ACS 2012: Part 1

I am only mentioning cheeses that are new to me here because – as anyone there can attest – there were too many awesome cheeses for one person to blog about. My versions of these from past years are still pretty much valid, so check those out as well if you want. Here is a […] Read More..

American Cheese Society 2012: Judging

Whenever I get a chance to be a cheese judge at the American Cheese Society Conference, I grab it. I really do love it. I am honored to be asked – and that is part of it – but I love it mostly because it is pure cheese: just me, my mouth, and 1771 anonymous […] Read More..

Gordonzola’s Humble Suggestions for Getting the Most out of the Cheese Conference

I’ve lost track of how many ACS conferences I have attended. I pretty sure I have attended every one not on the East Coast since 1999. Almost universally, they have been awesome experiences that have taught me innumerable things about cheese and introduced me to people I otherwise might never have met. Back when I […] Read More..

New facebook page

I started a new facebook page because during vacation it dawned on me that I really wish I hadn’t given the “Cheesemonger” facebook page the name of my book. For one reason, it’ll be confusing when my next book comes out. For another, it’s embarrassing commenting on other people’s facebooks as “Cheesemonger: A Life on […] Read More..

When Cheese Goes Bad

There are times of the year I associate with bad cheese. Usually it is after a holiday, when a distributor has bought too much of something perishable that didn’t sell. Buyers are alerted to these deals with flyers titled things like “Hot Sheet”, “Killer Deals”, and “Margin Builders.” This is definitely risky buying for the […] Read More..