Wisconsin’s Irish butter crisis is over

NewsCut last month faithfully documented the fight in Wisconsin over the freedom to buy Irish butter and the insistence of Dairy State bureaucrats to keep the splendid product out.

A Wisconsin law requires butter be graded for texture and quality through a federal or state system. That edict effectively kept out the imported product, forcing Irish butter addicts to cross state lines to find the creamy goodness.

But the Associated Press writes that a Wisconsin creamery has found a butter loophole:

Old World Creamery of Sheboygan announced Thursday that it will import Irishgold butter from Ireland, process and package it — then have the company’s five state-licensed butter graders rate it. That will allow Irishgold to be sold legally in Wisconsin, which bans the sale of any butter that hasn’t been graded for quality.

Residents tired of crossing state lines to load up on Irish butter filed a lawsuit against the state last month over the law, the only of its kind in the U.S.

“This will be a big day for Wisconsin residents who love the rich taste of Irish butter,” Steve Knaus, Old World Creamery’s managing partner, said in a news release announcing the workaround. Knaus said the company will import the butter in bulk and grade it both before and after packaging. He said the plan was in the works before the lawsuit was filed.

Carry on, Wisconsin.

  • Gary F
  • ML

    How does one become a licensed butter grader?

    • Anna

      It seems all you have to do is take an exam and eat lots of butter samples. Seems rather subjective to me.

      After reading the Wisconsin Stats. regarding the regulation of the dairy industry and looking up “licensed butter grader”, I think I’ll keep my day job.

      After reading all that is required of dairy farmers and the licensing and fees required to be a processor, I have a greater admiration for the Wisconsin dairy industry.

      I guess this is why Wisconsin cheeses (and butter?) win so many awards at contests around the world.

      • Gary F

        I presume the Wisconsin Vo-tech schools have a program for this. Then, an extensive apprenticeship, journeyman, the masters program. Like the building trades, you burn your body out early, but from heart failure.

        • jon

          Probably like wine tasting, the real skill lies in learning to spit the wine out.

      • jon

        Government regulation making an industry great? That seems to go counter to everything the “probusiness” (or proprofit) people tell me…