Each summer Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery gives enthusiastic college students to put their education to good use and learn new skills through our summer internship program. The program is also a way for us to cover staff vacations, complete special projects, and build relationships with potential candidates who could fill key positions within our organization in the future. Yes, many of our interns embarked on careers with us after college graduation!

Meet this year’s interns…

Bailee Aisenbrey

Bailee comes on board as a quality assurance intern in our lab with her supervisor Emily Maier. Bailee had previously worked in the barrel room and wanted to take her knowledge of working on the floor to an internship. This made her especially interested in our internship program and how different departments impact production.

Bailee states, “On an average day I take sanitation swabs and check the cleanliness of production areas. Throughout the week, I take different kinds of swabs and samples. They are either plated or prepared to be sent out.” She also looks forward to visiting each plant because of how different the process is at each and the variety of learning each location has to offer.

Bailee will be going into her senior year at UW- River Falls where she is majoring in Food Science and Technology with a minor in Ag Business. She expresses that working closely with mentors has been essential to her learning. “Being able to ask questions and receive feedback has helped me learn about quality and production.” Bailee plans to stay in the Dairy industry and continue in Quality Assurance in her future career.

 

Roslind Anderson

Roslind is interning as our Production Supervisor, working with Jarrod Luther. She is studying Dairy Science (Farm Management) with a minor in Food Processing Technology at UW- River Falls and will graduate in the spring of 2023.

Roslind has been working at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery since December of 2018. She originally started in the retail store excited to share her knowledge of being a dairy farmer with customers. From there she went to light packaging on holidays, then finally to the production floor.

“Growing up on a dairy farm, I always knew that I wanted to have a career in the dairy industry. Working for Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery has shown me a different side of the industry and guided me towards my future.”

“I’m a versatile employee and a fast-paced learner. I have been able to use these skills as a supervisor, understanding how to solve problems in a timely manner. For each mentor I have had, I learned new things. Each one has a different supervisory style and demonstrates different qualities, which has helped me find my own style.”

Roslind plans to continue her career in dairy production as she enjoys working in the manufacturing industry.

 

Sam Erickson

Sam chose Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery for his internship because, “Dairy is a huge part of our world today and any chance to help it stay running and thrive is something I want to be a part of,” he states.

Sam grew up 20 minutes away from the creamery which sparked his interest early on. His internship in the Health, Safety, & Environmental department has exposed him to a variety of projects. Some of his day-to-day tasks have him in production areas overviewing safety measures and contacting people for information such as lab results or quotes. “I like the variety the position offers whether it’s map-making or running around on my feet all day, it’s a great time.”

Sam is studying Conservation with a minor in Ag Business at UW- River Falls and after this summer he will be completing his senior year. “Ethan Hofland is my mentor, he has shown me the entirety of both Ellsworth and Menomonie locations for production and wastewater. He also gives me insight into the inner workings of his tasks and operations going on inside the plant. He is great at working through issues and explaining his steps piece by piece, so safe to say I would be lost without him.”

 

Jordan O’Connor

Jordan comes to the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery as a fresh face. As our Hospitality & Marketing intern, Jordan has been working on a wide array of marketing tasks and spending some time in the retail stores. Some of her projects include product promotions, website updates, and preparing for the Menomonie official grand opening!

Jordan is the intern of John Freeman, Sr. Director of Sales/Marketing/Retail, and she states, “I have been able to learn more than I could imagine, every day. I have been allowed to take the lead on retail events, marketing projects, and product promotions. John has been extremely helpful and patient with all my questions and guides me in directions to best succeed.”

As her internship comes to an end, she will be continuing into her junior year at UW- River Falls majoring in Business Administration- Management. In her spare time, you can catch her on the UWRF Women’s hockey team playing goalie. “I am thrilled to be working for Ellsworth Creamery and I am confident that my skills and future career will be greatly benefited from this opportunity.”

The fryers are packed away as another marathon Dairy Month has come to an end. Each weekend in June teams from Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery attended Dairy Breakfasts and other events where they deep-fried and served up cheese curds to attendees.  Were you among them?

Attending these events take a lot of work and coordination. Through all weather conditions, teams hit the road—sometimes in the early morning hours—to ensure the fryers are set up and the oil is hot so cheese curds can be served up to guests as the event begins. They make it look easy, mixing up the secret Fry Krisp beer batter, and frying up tens of pounds of curds at each event, all while answering questions and holding conversations with attendees. Then there’s the clean-up at the end and the packing away of the equipment so it’s ready for the following weekend’s event.

The month-long dairy celebration culminated with the Cheese Curd Festival, which took place in Ellsworth on the last weekend in June. 25,000 cheese curd fans attended the event, sampling various cheese curd foods served up by 20 food vendors and ice cream, milk, and cheeses during the various tasting events. The most popular vendor of the event is Cheese Curd Central where festival guests purchase boats of deep-fried curds in three flavors—Natural, Cinnamon Sugar, and a specialty flavor, which for this year’s event was Pizza! One highlight was a visit from Twin Cities Live’s, Kristin Haubrich, who broadcasted live from the festival. Kristin got a lesson in cheese curd frying from our own Dean Hines and Shane Bamman. Needless, to say, they were a hit!

We know how precious weekends are, and we thank our staff for giving up theirs to promote Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery and our products through these events. Please join us in thanking the staff who commit themselves to show up with a smile every weekend in June for Dairy Month events. Their participation exemplifies their passion for dairy and our products.

 

We’re counting the days until the Cheese Curd Festival on June 24-25! We’re thrilled to be working with the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and community members to bring the event back in its pre-pandemic glory!

Each year the festival serves as one of our main marketing campaigns. The event offers amazing exposure for our product and Wisconsin’s cheese industry. Of course cheese curds are the starring food, but there’s also a real dairy ice cream tasting, milk & cookie pairing, and a Block Party where attendees can taste a variety of Wisconsin cheeses all with a unique “claim to fame”! These and other events are designed to create engagement with our target market, share new products, and build our brand awareness.

We work to give attendees cheese curd flavors and options they can’t find anywhere else. Each food vendor serves up at least 2 unique cheese curd dishes. Cheese Curd Central is where the deep-fried cheese curds are found. In addition to natural cheese curds, we deep fry a different specialty flavor each year. This year we chose Pizza Cheese Curds–it was our 2020 flavor selection that never truly received the exposure it should have. Another Cheese Curd Festival exclusive are deep-fried cinnamon sugar curds. They’re like a mini-donut and have grown quite a following!

In addition to the food, there’s live entertainment, a classic car show, 5K/10K Cheese Curd Run, Cheese Curd Eating Contest, and more! We sure throw one heck of a cheese curd party–Come and join us for a good time, and to satisfy your cheese curd cravings.

Cheese Curd Festival
Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery and Ellsworth’s East End Park
Friday, June 24, 4pm-10pm
Saturday, June 25, 10am-10pm

Below are some quick-links to all the festival details:

Parking: Trust us when we say, use the shuttle service. It’s so easy and convenient! The shuttle buses make continuous routes and will get you to and from the festival grounds in minutes.

Schedule: From entertainment to tasting events, here’s the entire schedule at a glance!

Entertainment: Check out this entertainment lineup!

Tasting Events: Tickets can be purchased at the event (unless the events sell out). Pre-event ticket purchases are available for some events if you want to be guaranteed a spot.

Dairy Month is around the corner and we wanted to be sure you had all the details for the various dairy celebrations taking place throughout the region in June. Mark these dates on your calendar and plan to take part! You’ll see our team at each of the following events frying up the cheese curds everyone loves so much. Be sure to stop by and see us!

Barron County Dairy Breakfast
Saturday, June 4
6am -11am
Rainbow Valley Dairy Farm
1532 6 1/2 Street
Almena, WI

Pepin County Town & Country Dairy Breakfast
Saturday, June 11
6:30am-11am
Auth Farms
W7623 County Road Z
Arkansaw, WI

Dunn County Dairy Breakfast
Saturday, June 11
7am-11am
Breezy Haven Farms
N12021 1010th Street
Bloomer, WI 54724

Showdown in Curdtown
Saturday, June 11
6pm-11pm
Pierce County Fairgrounds
Ellsworth, WI

Wabasha County Night on the Farm
Thursday, June 16
5pm-8pm
Yoder Farm

Goodhue County Dairy Breakfast
Friday, June 17
7am-11am
Farm of Casey O’Reilly
33456 200th Ave
Red Wing, MN

Pierce County Dairy Breakfast
Saturday, June 18
8am-12pm
Mann Valley Farm
129 S. Glover Road
River Falls, WI

Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival
Friday, June 24, 4pm-10pm
Saturday, June 25, 10am-10pm
East End Park
Ellsworth, WI

Buffalo County Dairy Breakfast
Saturday, June 25
(Location yet to be announced)