Lactococcus lactis: Wisconsin’s State Microbe

Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, is one of the top producers of dairy and cheese products within the United States. Our state has nearly 1,200 licensed cheesemakers and creates over 600 different types of cheese, double the number produced in any other state. Wisconsin produces 25% of the nation’s cheese, totaling almost 3.5 billion pounds in 2021.

However, there is one cheesemaker that is often neglected by the public — Lactococcus lactis. 

L. lactis is integral to cheesemaking in Wisconsin and to other state food and agricultural industries, and to honor the artistry and innovative legacy of the agricultural and dairy leaders across Wisconsin, Wisconsin should adopt Lactococcus lactis as the state microbe.

Resources to learn more about L. lactis and the case for its adoption as the official Wisconsin state microbe:

Science note
Issue brief

Media coverage