News: Greenwood - Wuethrich Creamery (1974)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Wuethrich,

----Source: Tribune Record Gleaner (Loyal, Clark Co., WI) 3/07/1974

News: Greenwood, Wuethrich Creamery (1974)

Mingling with Mary (By Mary Woods)

(Photo of Dallas and John D. Wuethrich)

If a person would take a look at many of the businesses in the area that have existed for a period of 70 years, he would note that the owners have had different names, the place of business may have changed, and some cases, the business may no long exist. But, if one would take a look at the Wuethrich Creamery of Greenwood, he would notice only progress, community contribution, and the name Wuethrich has been involved since the business began.

Started by John Wuethrich who came over from Switzerland, settling in southern Wisconsin and later moving to the Greenwood area, the creamery began operating in 1904. The creamery, which was located at the present site, was built by Wuethrich, and supplied by farmers in the area, as a co-op. Later the farmer’s supplies were purchased by Wuethrich and became a privately-owned business.

Speaking to Dallas Wuethrich, vice-president and son of President John D. Wuethrich, cream is collected from approximately 100 cheese and dairy plants with a 200-mile radius, covering central and northern Wisconsin.

Wuethrich stated that the creamery company and Grassland Dairy Products manufactures approximately 50,000 to 60,000 pounds of butter a day, depending on the cream supply and, within a 24-hour period of time, the cream that is brought in is ready for shipment.

As for shipping of the butter, it was stated by Wuethrich that a good portion of the butter is shipped directly to the eastern part of the U.S. Also, pointed out was the fact that the average person consumes five pounds of butter annually, which has dropped over a period of years.

As for oleo, having an impact on the butter industry, Wuethrich point out, “It did hurt the immediate area business, but since a lot of the butter is shipped to the eastern U.S., the oleo has not really affected the over-all business.

Reflecting on the different types of butter that area packaged and shipped from the creamery, it was pointed out by Wuethrich that Grassland Butter and approximately 50 other privately labeled brand names are shipped from the plant. The entire business employs 38 persons.

An occasion that has brought interest to the creamery writing the past few years is the making of Passover Butter for the Jewish Passover. Yearly, a Rabbi from the Sioux City area comes to the area watching and supervising the production of butter. According to Wuethrich, the creamy is the only one in Wisconsin that does this type of buttermaking. It was also noted that approximately 125,000 pounds of butter are made during the four day stay of the Rabbi, with most of the butter used for the Chicago and eastern New York area. According to Wuethrich, the butter differs in the way that no salt is added during its production.

Pointing out that the price of butter has decreased over the past years, Wuethrich stated, “In 1950, the price of a pound of butter was over a $1 retail, and today the price averages 84¢. This is just one thing that has gone down, rather than up in our society.”

Born and raised in the Greenwood area, Dallas Wuethrich began his career in the creamery in 1967. He graduated from Greenwood High School in 1964, and attended the UW-River Falls for three years. He stated that he gradually worked into the position held by his uncle, Allen Wuethrich, who is presently semi-retired from the business, gut at one time was one of the principal figures in the grown of the business. Wuethrich is a member of the Greenwood Lions Club, and is presently secretary for the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. He stated that, “everyone seems to be involved with the production and distribution of the butter that comes from the plant. “Working at the creamery is a rewarding experience and something that brings great satisfaction.”

Being president of the creamery and one of the sons of the original owners, John D. Wuethrich has become a familiar figure on state, county, and national organization, and associations. He is a graduate of Greenwood High School and attended Lawrence College.

In 1973, he was honored for his contributions and dedication to the 4-H Clubs. Himself a 4-H member for ten years, he has served as 4-H dairy project leader for 28 years. As dairy leader, he has been instrumental in assisting many young dairy members get started with registered Holstein cattle. His interest and support of the 4-H Clubs also reaches beyond the county. He has contributed financially to Wisconsin 4-H dairy programs through the 4-H Dairy Foundation, and even prior to the Foundation’s organization in 1954. The award that he received was “Friend of the 4-H and Extension Award” which was given to him at the 4-H Club Congress. He is a director on the Board of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.

Wuethrich is also a member of the Holstein Breeders Association at county, state, and national levels, a former director of the Wisconsin Holstein Breeders Association, a former member and past president of the Clark County Quality Milk Improvement Association, and former director of both the National Butter Institute, and the Wisconsin Creameries Association. He is presently on the board of directors of both the Central Wisconsin State Fair, and the Northern Wisconsin State Fair. He has been a director of the Neillsville State Bank since 1958, and is also on the Board of Directors of the Clark County Cancer Society. In 1968, he received a testimonial from the UW-Madison for his participation in area, state, and national diary organizations, and supporter of community activities. The testimonial also notes his outstanding progress as a dairy farmer, a dairy cattle breeder, and notes his contributions to the field of agriculture.

After 70 years of business and the same name, the Wuethrich Creamery Company, and Grassland Dairy Products has made its contribution to the furthering of agriculture at the county, state, and national level.

Being one of few creameries in the state that has survived the rising cost of operation without a price increase noted on the finished product, Wuethrich Creamery, along with Dallas and John D. Wuethrich, are saluted!



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