Wisconsin Dairy News: Dairy Pilot Program - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin Dairy News: Dairy Pilot Program

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(WKOW) -- Hannah Frank grew up on a 30-cow dairy farm in Athens, Wisconsin. When she was thirteen, her parents made the tough decision to sell the cows which made Hannah rethink her career plans. 

After graduating high school, Hannah knew she wanted a career in agriculture and headed to UW-River Falls. 

"I found out about the cheesemaking program, through the dairy pilot plant here, and I'm like well that would be really good way to make a small farm viable because I do want to go back to the farm and farm with my dad after I graduate," Frank said.

Hannah's focused on learning all she can before graduation. Thanks to the cheesemaking courses offered at River Falls under the tutelage of Professor Michelle Farner, she's well on her way! 

"I brought her on immediately, because if I have a student that comes to me and says, 'I want to learn how to make cheese', then they're hired," Farner said.

When she's not in school, Hannah earns more of her apprentice hours at Cosmic Wheel Creamery near Clear Lake, WI. 

"Everyone is out there to help you, and they want to see you succeed and they will give you any resources they can to try to help you," Frank said. 

"If I have students that are eager and have a passion for this, then absolutely we are going to build off of that and I will get them out into the industry," Farner said. 

Having long been a career dominated by men, more women are venturing into the craft of cheesemaking. 

"I like to think that cheesemaking is like part science and part art and I think that a lot of women can be very passionate about that. Just like me," Frank said. 

Hannah is also planning to head to Europe taking part in the World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or WWOOF program, to learn more about farming so that she's prepared to operate her farmstead creamery when she returns home. 

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