CDR hosts Thai cheese retailers, marketers as part of program to boost U.S. cheese exports

A group of six cheese retailers and cheese marketing specialists from Thailand will be visiting the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin­–Madison Jan. 18-20 as part of an intensive two-week training program to learn about artisanal and gourmet cheeses. The program, funded through a Cochran Fellowship Program grant from the United States Department of Agriculture – Foreign Agricultural Service, also involves visits to dairy farms small and large, cheese factories, specialty cheese shops, large retail grocery chains, restaurants and bars.

The visit focuses on training and networking, helping the Thai fellows build relationships with manufacturers, companies, distributors and government partners. The overall objective of the program is to expand U.S. cheese exports to Thailand. The proposal and itinerary for the group’s visit, first announced in February 2022, was developed by the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), CDR and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), with input from Wisconsin cheese industry representatives. 

For media representatives interested in covering this program, there will be opportunities to join the Thai fellows during their training at the CDR, the mornings of Jan. 18-20. The Thai fellows speak English, and some will be available to interview. Jennifer Kushner, director of CALS Global, who helped organize the visit, will be on site and available to describe the program and answer reporter questions. Please contact Shelby Anderson at 608-692-7125 or by Jan. 16 to discuss details and arrange a day and time to join the Thai fellows. 

Training activities at CDR will include: 

  • Sensory activities in the Culinary Applications Lab, such as cheese tastings and evaluation
  • Demonstration activities in the Pilot Plant, including Swiss cheese and specialty/artisan cheese making
  • Lectures on the basics of cheese science and the cheesemaking process

For information about the overall program, please contact: 

General information about the Cochran Fellowship Program is available at