In 1938, a rush shipment of 10 teakwood hoops left the port in Holland, destined for Mississippi State University!
The hoops were moulds for the famous “cannon ball” Edam cheese, which has endured as an MSU symbol for more than 75 years! F.H. Herzer introduced the first Edam, an artisan cheese that would soon become an infinite part of MSU tradition.
By the Numbers
(Amount produced per year)
475,000 GALLONS of Raw Milk
50,000 BALLS of Edam Cheese
50,000 BLOCKS of Cheddar Cheese
10,000 WHEELS of Vallagret
5,500 POUNDS of Butter
40,000 GALLONS of Fluid Milk
25,000 GALLONS of Ice Cream
925 Stone Blvd.
Mississippi State, MS 39762
The story of MSU cheese is much bigger than Edam. It begins at the Bearden Dairy Research Center where Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) staff milk up to 200 cows, twice daily, 365 days a year. The dairy is home to Holstein heifers, an award winning Jersey herd, and crossbred grazers. The university’s Jersey herd is ranked in the top 10 by the American Jersey Cattle Association, the only collegiate herd in the top 10 ranking.
Milk & Butter
Our Custer Dairy Processing Plant churns out 5,500 pounds of butter per year, and about 1,300 gallons of milk are delivered each day! Milk is pasteurized and homogenized to produce 2 percent (reduced-fat) white milk, and whole chocolate milk. Our buttermilk is cultured and asteurized. The processing plant also produces 50,000 gallons of fluid milk each year which is used throughout campus eateries and available for sale at the MAFES Sales Store.
About 25,000 gallons of ice cream are produced each year by the Custer Dairy Processing Plant. Muscadine Ripple, a popular favorite, is roduced with muscadine grapes grown and harvested at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station. It takes 150 gallons of muscadine juice to produce a year’s worth of Muscadine Ripple, one of seven flavors sold by cup in the MAFES Sales Store. The store also offers half gallon and three gallon sizes in 11 flavors.
The plant produces 50,000 three-pound balls of Edam cheese each year. Additional one-and-a-half-pound balls are made for the Maroon and White Gift Packs. Once cheese forms in moulds, it is placed in a salt brine bath before waxing. Edam cheese is aged three months before sale.
Cheddar cheese is made in large blocks weighing about 20 pounds each. Two 20 pound blocks are placed in a wooden crate and aged. After the threemonth aging period is complete, cheese is cut into two-pound blocks, waxed, vacuum sealed, and ready for purchase. 50,000 blocks are sold annually.
The Custer Dairy Processing plant produces 10,000 wheels of Vallagret each year. Vallagret has a flavor similar to Swiss. Once the cheese is formed into wheels, it’s immersed in a salt brine bath, and then cooled down; heat treated, and cooled down again to be aged in cold storage.