Fellowship will bring Thai cheese retailers, marketers to Wisconsin to learn about specialty cheeses

The University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Center for Dairy Research will help host a group of cheese retailers and cheese marketing specialists from Thailand later this year thanks to a Cochran Fellowship Program grant from the USDA – Foreign Agricultural Service. The program was developed in close collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, including planning and coordination with Wisconsin’s cheese industry.

The grant covers the cost of an intensive two-week training program that will help seven Thai Fellows learn about artisanal and gourmet cheeses in the U.S. through interactions with manufacturers, companies, distributors and government partners. The objective is to encourage exports of U.S. cheese to Thailand.

“This program takes a systems approach by focusing on training and networking at all points in the value chain,” says Jennifer Kushner, interim director of CALS Global, who will be managing program logistics. “We will provide connections to companies and agencies involved in specialty cheese development, production, promotion and export, to help Fellows build the relationships they need to expand U.S. cheese exports to Thailand.”

During their visit to Wisconsin, Fellows will visit dairy farms small and large, cheese factories, specialty cheese shops, large retail grocery chains, restaurants and bars. They will meet with representatives from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, DATCP, U.S. Dairy Export Council, and many other organizations and agencies.

The visit is anticipated to take place in summer 2022, but the dates have not been finalized.

For more information, contact: Jennifer Kushner (CALS Global),; Julia Frangul (CALS Global),; or Jennifer Lu (DATCP),