The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association recently pledged an additional gift of $50,000 to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Foundation. The gift is intended to spur a final phase of fundraising for the university’s dairy-pilot-plant renovation. The recent donation brings the association’s total project contribution to $250,000.

Companies and cooperatives are urged to pledge matching monies before the end of 2019. That will help to ensure the project is achieved as designed -- with new automation, piping and equipment -- according to the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Construction began in June 2018 and is expected to be finished in summer 2020.

The plant’s renovation and re-equipping has been a team effort. The Wisconsin State Building Commission has provided $1.9 million in funding. The UW-River Falls has provided $525,000 in funding. Industry donations have reached $3 million in cash and equipment. Just $570,000 is needed to complete fundraising for the project, according to the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

The completed dairy plant and training room will enable UW-River Falls to increase training programs for the dairy industry – cheesemaker training, pasteurizer operator and food-safety courses. Contact julie.stucky@uwrf.edu or 715-425-4647 for more information.

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