Nothing says Christmas in Wisconsin like cheese. At least, that's what Wisconsin cheese sellers hope.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board researcher Katie Neuser says cheese sales increase about 25 percent nationwide during the holiday season. Wisconsin cheese sellers report a similar trend.
Ken McNulty, who owns the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in downtown Milwaukee, says it's something from the state that can be enjoyed. He says you can't send a Harley motorcycle.
The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says Wisconsin produces 2-point-4 billion pounds of cheese annually. That makes it the top cheese-producing state, ahead of California at two billion pounds.
At the Mars' Cheese Castle in Kenosha, managing director Mario Ventura Junior says about 40 percent of its sales come in the last three months of the year as people snap up cheese for Christmas gifts.
Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association executive director John Umhoefer says that, besides giving cheese as gifts, people also like to buy it to entertain others during the holidays.