Visitors to the Dairy Foods’ website cast their votes — more than 3,500 of them, in fact — and Schuman Cheese’s Lake Country Dairy came out on top. The Turtle Lake, Wis.-based plant, which makes award-winning Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, Fontal, mascarpone and a variety of alpine cheeses, bested 12 other nominated dairy facilities to become Dairy Foods’ 2018 Plant of the Year.

One unique aspect of Lake Country Dairy is its participation in a program with France’s Ministry of Agriculture’s national school of the dairy industry (ENIL, the Ecole nationale d’industrie laitiere). Schuman employees study in France, and a French professor and cheesemaker visits Turtle Lake and teaches traditional cheesemaking techniques.

Lake Country Dairy also is involved in industry-wide training courses through the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and with other organizations.

The plant will be honored in the August issue of Dairy Foods. To learn more about the facility’s operations, visit