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WFU Sells Specialty Cheese Company to New Jersey Firm
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/25/2009

The Wisconsin Farmers Union is getting out of the cheese manufacturing business. On Wednesday, the farm organization announced it has sold its WFU Specialty Cheese Company in Grant County to Arthur Schuman Inc., a fourth-generation domestic cheese making enterprise based in New Jersey.

According to WFU and WFUSCC President Sue Beitlich, the farm group's cheese division managers felt it was time to sell the company and focus more on Wisconsin Farmers Union's main mission of improving the quality of life for family farmers and rural communities. She also noted that ASI plans to keep the cheese production operations open in Montfort using Wisconsin milk. They have been the exclusive distributor of WFUSCC's Montforte Bleu and Gorgonzola Cheeses since January.

"The board of managers was committed to making a financially sound decision for the organization and selling the company to a family-owned business that would continue to produce award-winning Wisconsin cheeses," said Beitlich.

The announcement comes just two months after former Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Director Doug Caruso resigned his CEO position with WFUSCC to become the administrator of the national FSA agency in Washington, D.C. He had been with WFUSCC since 2003. Beitlich has since been filling in as the leading official for the cheese division.

Wisconsin Farmers Union Specialty Cheese Company, LLC was formed in 1998 and markets a full line of Wisconsin cheeses direct to consumers, with Montforte blue cheese and gorgonzola cheese being its specialty.

Arthur Schuman, which has facilities in Fairfield, New Jersey and Elgin, Illinois, processes more than 70 million pounds of cheese each year.

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