Meister Cheese – Muscoda, WI

Industry: Dairy Processing RDP Investment: $12.5 million Launched: September 2013

Meister Cheese Company LLC is located in Muscoda, Wisconsin and is a third-generation owned cheese factory. Originating in Plain, Wisconsin as the Pleasant View Cheese Company, the company purchased a new cheese factory in Muscoda, Wisconsin in 1966 and named it Meister Cheese Company. In 1976 the company subsequently moved to the Muscoda Industrial Park. Meister currently produces a variety of cheeses including Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, and flavored cheeses. Their largest customer is a nationally-recognized restaurant chain, dedicated to providing its customers with “food with integrity.” Meister provides the national customer with the ability to source cheese with special characteristics including use of only BGH-free milk from pasture-raised cows. Meister established the “Animal Friendly Family Farms” (“A Triple F”) program, allowing it to receive premium, high-quality milk produced using ethical and sustainable methods by Wisconsin dairy farms.

The whey ingredients used in the cheese making process was formerly perceived by the industry as a waste product. As stated by the Dairy Council of CA (2004), “In the past 20 years whey protein has gone from being a waste product to a highly valued product…” In 1980 Meister formed Muscoda Protein Products (“MPP”) through a joint venture with another cheese company and the facility was built next to the Meister Cheese plant in order to take advantage of the built-in supply of whey. MPP produces whey protein concentrate (WPC) and lactose with the majority of its whey supply coming from its sister company, Meister. Both Meister and Muscoda utilize a clean wood-burning technology allowing the companies to manufacture high quality products at a low cost to customers.

The overall plans include approximately $5.7 million of upgrades to the MPP facility and the purchase of nearly $9.8 million of equipment. The portion of the equipment expenditures will be used by MPP to upgrade its lactose equipment and refrigeration system at the whey plant in order to increase efficiency and product quality and another portion of the equipment expenditures will be used to purchase equipment related to cheese production which will be leased back to its sister company Meister Cheese Company LLC (“Meister”). The expansion and equipment upgrades will allow MPP and Meister to increase their production capacity and serve additional customers. Meister has recently added another national account in 2013, and these upgrades are necessary to meet customer needs.

RDP Impact

Approximately 112 full-time equivalent jobs will be sustained at both the MPP and Meister facilities.

$116.65 million in additional economic output in the region

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