DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - Wisconsin cheese producers are closely watching developments in another major dairy state.
California farmers are pushing for higher milk prices.
If they get their way it could level the playing field for cheese prices.
Chris Renard is third generation at his family's cheese business in Door County.
"We are famous for our cheese curds, cheddar, string cheese, breaded cheese curds" Renard explains.
He is closely watching California's dysfunctional diary industry.
"It would help if all states were on the same playing field, if everybody was at a set price a set market to start with" he says.
California sets its own milk prices, currently about Two dollars less per hundred pounds than the federal system pays farmers here in Wisconsin.
California cheese producers have prospered for decades off the formula.
"The west coast had pulled from California, they did not pull from Wisconsin" Renard explains.
However, with feed prices rising California farmers are no longer making enough and are calling for the state to raise its milk prices.
Dairy experts predict the move could increase sales of Wisconsin cheese by about $200 million.
It is already a five billion dollar business in the badger state.
"90 percent of our cheese in Wisconsin is sold outside the states boarders" explains Patrick Geoghegan, with The Milk Marketing Board. "It generates a great deal of income for the state of Wisconsin".
80 percent of Renard's business is wholesale.
"We sell to the east coast, down south in Alabama and also in Wisconsin and Illinois" Renard explains.
If prices equalize Renard's could find a whole new market. "If you go into the grocery store price is going to be the main component" he says.
Just this week... California temporarily increased milk prices by 25 cents per hundredweight.
However, no permanent decisions were made.