Alto Dairy Cooperative

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Alto Dairy Cooperative
Founded1894 in Waupun, Wisconsin
Number of locations
ProductsCheese, cream, liquid veal food,[clarification needed] whey, & whey protein concentrate
ParentSaputo Inc. (2008–present)

Alto Dairy Cooperative was a farmer owned dairy cooperative in Waupun, Wisconsin. Founded in 1894, it is the oldest farmer owned cooperative in the state of Wisconsin and boasts the nation's largest cheese producing plant east of the Mississippi River.[2] As of 2007 Alto Dairy Cooperative had two cheese plants, one in Black Creek and one in Waupun, as well as 467 employees. This dairy cooperative has a membership of about 500 farmers. In 2007 this cooperative handled $378 million in sales and had a net income of $19.6 million.[2]

Sale of Alto Dairy[edit]

In 2008 Alto Dairy Cooperative was sold to Saputo Inc., which is a Canadian cheese company. Alto Dairy still operates under its original name as a subsidiary. This sale was approved by 98% of the farmers who are active in the cooperative, allowing Saputo Cheese USA, Inc. to purchase the dairy cooperative for $160 million.[3]

Notable achievements[edit]

In 2007 Alto Dairy appeared on the History channel series Modern Marvels. The show interviewed employees and filmed the production process at the Black Creek cheese plant, chosen for its diverse cheese-making abilities.[4] Alto Dairy Colby-Jack cheese won an award at the World Championship Cheese and butter contest in 2006 and 2008. The prize winning cheese was from the Black Creek cheese plant.[5]


  1. ^ Savor Wisconsin, Alto Dairy Cooperative Archived 2011-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved February 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b JSOnline, Sale of Dairy Co-op Proposed Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 30, 2008
  3. ^ USDA Rural Development, Alto Members Approve Sale to Saputo Cheese USA Archived 2013-01-29 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved February 16, 2013.
  4. ^ World Dairy Diary. "Wisc. Cheese Featured on History Channel". Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  5. ^ World Dairy Diary. "Colby-Jack Takes The Prize". Retrieved March 17, 2008.