Cheese Making for a New Generation - View the video

Katie Hedrich

Katie Hedrich
Cheese Maker/ Marketer
LaClare Farms Specialties

N3425 Harlow Rd
Chilton, WI 53014

Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Entrepreneurs

Katie Hedrich, a 2007 graduate of Northern Michigan University, is the Cheesemaker/Marketer for LaClare Farms Specialties. Hedrich worked for two years in retail management followed by one year in outside sales and three years in the cheese industry. She began her career in the cheese industry as an assistant cheesemaker, growing into the head cheesemaker and marketer for her families operation. Hedrich and her family run a 350 head dairy goat operation and use their milk to make award winning cheese. In the past three years Hedrich has won over 10 awards for her cheeses one being “Best of Show” at the United States Champion Cheese contest. Hedrich took top honors out of 1604 different cheeses from all across the United States. Currently Hedrich rents a vat, 3-5 days a week, at Willow Creek Cheese in Berlin, WI to make her cheese. In addition to making seven different varieties at Willow Creek she also travels one day a month to Roelli Cheese in Shullsburg, WI. Together Hedrich and fourth generation cheesemaker, Chris Roelli, craft a Mixed Milk (part goat, part cow), dry jack, cave-aged blue cheese. Hedrich has made cheese with three of Wisconsin’s Master Cheese makers, the highest accredited cheese makers in the industry.

Katie Hedrich is working in new territory and making a national name for herself in the world of cheese making. It’s a field dominated by men, but in the past three years she’s won 10 awards for her specialty goat cheeses including “Best of Show” at the 2011 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. Katie shares how work on her family’s goat milking operation helped launch her cheese making career and what other opportunities exist off the farm in the agricultural industry for young people. Learn what it is like to be a young, first generation cheese maker and the challenges of running a small business in Wisconsin today. (Running Time 22:30)