Alan Gruenke

(Earned his Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certificate in 2013)

Third-generation owner Alan Greunke always arrives at Maple Grove Cheese in Milladore, Wisconsin, well before dawn to begin preparations for the cheese to be made that day. The Greunke family has a long history with CALS—Greunke’s grandfather graduated from the Dairy School in 1912, Greunke notes while admiring his grandfather’s class picture. Having attained his cheesemaking license at age 13, Greunke had compiled more than 40 years of experience by the time he completed his Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program in 2013. Greunke is certified in cheddar and Monterey Jack, two of the most popular cheeses at Maple Grove—and having the Master’s Mark on their products has led to a significant increase in business, he says. His favorite part of the program was the cheese technology short course, which offered him and a broad spectrum of his peers a chance to share their knowledge and experiences.