Assessing and addressing barriers to dairy product exports by small and medium sized Wisconsin manufacturers

PI: Chuck Nicholson


Nicholson is an associate professor of animal and dairy sciences and agricultural and applied economics at UW–Madison, whose position is funded entirely by the Dairy Innovation Hub. His research specialties include dairy markets and policy, food systems modeling, controlled-environment agriculture, and linkages between agriculture and food security.

This project aims to investigate constraints of the export market for small- and medium-sized dairy product manufacturers in Wisconsin and strategies to overcome them. This project has four main objectives; 1) identify Wisconsin dairy manufacturers that currently sell to export markets and others that have an interest in selling, 2) document potential barriers to export market participation with an emphasis on supply chain logistics and costs, 3) identify, evaluate, and recommend strategies that could address barriers to export market participation, and 4) provide an opportunity for up to five undergraduate students in the UW system to participate in this research and enhance their knowledge of dairy product exports. This research will use a combination of survey methods and focus groups to collect data from a relevant subset of dairy product manufacturers, conduct interviews and site visits to key export logistics service providers, and assess constraints and identify potential solutions. Additionally, a special workshop event will be organized to allow the students to present their findings. This project aligns to Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #25 and #26 (‘Recognize the importance of exports to Wisconsin dairy and ‘Increased collaboration in the UW System and with private industry’).