On National Cheese Day, June 4, Wisconsin is hosting the “World’s Largest Cheese Party” via Zoom at 8pm ET. The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Cheese) initially planned the celebration in Chicago but decided to turn it into a virtual event. The event can hold up to 1,000 participants—over 800 of whom have already registered over the weekend (the first 500 registrants received a complimentary box from award-winning cheesemakers such as Anderson International Foods, Yellow Door Creamery and Crave Brothers Farmstead).

Google still shows no results for “largest virtual cheese party,” which means no one has yet claimed the title and set a standard for a virtual cheese event. Wisconsin cheesemakers will give the participants an overview of cheese tasting and trivia as well as host giveaways and invite notable “surprise” guests. With the majority of individuals spending most of their time online, especially since the pandemic has forced people to stay in their homes, many industry events, including locally, have relocated to digital platforms. In the Philippines, we’ve seen seminars, fundraising concerts and even theater plays happen online.

Wisconsin is the first state to require cheese grading and cheesemakers’ licensing. Currently, there are over 35,000 dairy farms in Wisconsin that are selling milk, with almost two million cows producing 13,500 pounds of milk per year—an estimate of 74 percent of this milk goes into cheese. The Wisconsin cheese industry annually produces two billion pounds of cheese of over 250 varieties, which make up 30 percent of US’ total cheese production.

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