With growing demand, Great Lakes Cheese works on major Wausau expansionSubmitted: 06/25/2018
With growing demand, Great Lakes Cheese works on major Wausau expansion
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

WAUSAU - Each American eats about 35 pounds of cheese each year.

That number is higher than it has ever been.

The demand is good news for Wisconsin, which produces more cheese than any other state and more than all but three countries.

One company is building big in Wausau to keep pace.

"We will have state-of-the-art packaging, trying to create that innovation for the customer that wants to have some of those uniquenesses for the marketplace," said Dan Zagzebski, the president and CEO of Great Lakes Cheese.

The demand for cheese in creative trays, packages, and combinations has led to the major expansion of the Ohio-based company. Next year, the 225 employees from the current, aging Wausau plant will move to the new facility. Great Lakes Cheese will hire 125 more to work on its packaging operations.

"We're thrilled to be in Wausau, and certainly the community has been so supportive over all the years," Zagzebski said.

Wisconsin cheese production continues to dominate the country.

"It's fantastic. It's a great opportunity. People love cheese," said Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association President Kim Heiman.

Heiman said specialty cheeses, like the ones assembled at Great Lakes Cheese, are growing the fastest in popularity.

"Together with the dairy farmers and the cheesemakers, we're helping to feed the world," Heiman said. "We're able to do that with facilities and help like this."

Each year, Wisconsin produces more than three billion pounds of cheese. The industry hopes to build on what it has already.

"We're deploying technology here that will make Great Lakes Cheese in Wausau, WI, the envy of the dairy industry around the world," Zagzebski said.

At a ceremony at the Great Lakes Cheese facility, Gov. Scott Walker celebrated Wisconsin Cheese Day Monday, part of June Dairy Month.

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Starting a new health routine can be intimidating, but easing into the process can do the trick.

Just as balance is key in yoga, it is important to have in your lifestyle, too.

That's a mindset that Laurel Parins lives by.

"Whether that is a twenty minute walk, a class here at the studio… that will make you happier when you're not restricting yourself," says Parins.

She opened Roots Health Studio in Minocqua at the end of May after working in the fitness and nutrition field in Green Bay for some years.

"I really wanted to bring my knowledge of healthy lifestyle-living back to the community I grew up in."

Laurel gets that a new "health journey" can be intimidating, but she says you can't go wrong.

"Once you try it, you'll never regret it."

Laurel offers yoga and barre classes, personal training, and nutrition services at Roots.

For more info, click the link below.

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A judge halted that effort last fall, and a different attempt, this one before the Vilas County Board of Adjustment, failed Wednesday by a 5-0 vote.

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"Time is of the essence," Norm Peterson said.

Peterson's department got the 911 page of a two-car crash on Highway 8 and River Bend Road, about two miles east of Rhinelander, around 12:30 p.m.  The cars both ended up in the ditch on the north side of Highway 8, out of traffic.  Police reduced traffic to one lane while medics treated the injured, but cars were able to still get through in both directions.

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CRANDON - Leaders in four Northwoods counties hope a $38,633 grant will bring in almost 10 times that much money to the area. Forest, Langlade, Oneida and Vilas counties got a Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Wednesday.

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