MSU Edam Cheese 75th Anniversary In 2013, Mississippi State University (MSU) celebrated the 75th anniversary of its popular Edam cheese. Edam cheese, a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands city of Edam, was introduced to Mississippi State in 1938 by professor F.H. Herzer. He was head of the Dairy Science Department at the time and was able to order 10 teakwood hoops (molds) from Holland just before the start of World War II. The department began making its own Edam cheese using milk from Mississippi State’s dairy herds. Today, MSU is still raising dairy cattle and producing cheese. The dairy herd, made up of Jersey and Holstein cattle, produces more than three million pounds (369,000 gallons) of milk annually. Every drop of the milk produced by the MSU dairy herd is either sold on campus or used to make cheese, butter or ice cream at MSU’s Dairy Manufacturing Plant. In the beginning, nine Edams were produced per day. Now, six full-time workers and six part-time student employees at the self-sustaining Dairy Manufacturing Plant produce 400 3-pound cannonball Edams per day, as well as three other cheeses — cheddar, Vallagret (a 2-pound baby Swiss developed by an MSU graduate student) and a jalapeño pepper cheese block. The plant also makes jalapeño pepper and cheddar spreads. In all, more than 320,000 pounds of cheese is produced annually at MSU. “We make cheese every day, five days a week, year round,” says David Hall, manager of the MSU dairy. “It’s a very soughtafter product. It’s just become such a tradition and a symbol of Mississippi State, and it’s recognized throughout the country with all of our alumni.” All of the cheese products are available for purchase by the general public in the MSU Cheese Store and online at At Christmas, Hall says there is not enough cheese to meet the demand. “It gets crazy here at Christmas — we sell out of everything,” he says. “We ship cheese to every state in the country.”

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