Ask Abe: Sweet Dreams Are Made of Cheese

An Alum

How much cheese does the Babcock Dairy Plant produce?

Abe

Everyone knows how well Babcock does ice cream, but the folks at the Babcock Dairy Plant also know their way around a cheese wheel. Each year, the UW–Madison plant churns out 40,000 pounds of natural cheese in about 15 varieties. It makes the classics — Colby, Cheddar, brick — as well as some more adventurous kinds such as jalapeño juustoleipä. Babcock’s 40,000 pounds of cheese account for roughly 0.014 percent of Wisconsin’s annual cheese production, which is nearly three billion pounds per year. In addition to contributing to the average 27 pounds of cheese that each American eats in a year, the Babcock Dairy Plant also packages 75,000 gallons of ice cream and one million bottles of milk annually. In 2014, the plant created a formula for bottled teas, which it sold in cherry pomegranate and peach flavors.