Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) members applauded the State Senate’s unanimous approval of Senate Bill 431. This bill will boost dairy hauling capacity. Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) as well as Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) authored the bill. SB 431 extends a current allowance for milk hauling of 98,000 pounds over six axles to all liquid dairy products. This permit program would help address the ongoing shortage of truck drivers. It will also increase efficiency for the industry and reduce overall road maintenance costs for taxpayers.
“Known for cheese, Wisconsin is also a global leader in the production of whey,” said Rebekah Sweeney, WCMA Senior Director of Programs & Policy. “Due to the complexity and cost of drying it for use in protein powders, baby formula, and as an ingredient, liquid whey is typically hauled from cheesemaking plants for additional processing. SB 431 would make that effort more sustainable, more profitable, and safer for everyone on the road.”
Scott Potts of WCMA member BelGioioso Cheese said, “We’re excited about what this bill would mean for our sustainability initiatives. This bill would reduce the amount of fuel BelGioioso would use to transport loads by nearly 29,000 gallons per year and reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 258 metric tons per year.”
Dave Buholzer of WCMA member Klondike Cheese Company also added, “We’d use less water, washing out fewer tankers each day. We’d have less congestion in our intake area, extending the life our of current facility, as we grow. We’d have less paperwork to complete. All of this involves less labor on our end, labor that’s hard to find.”
“From the labor to the water and fuel to the wear and tear on vehicles, this bill would significantly reduce our overall costs and improve economics for the Wisconsin dairy industry,” said Randy Klein of WCMA member Milk Specialties Global.