Pilot Plant

Our cheese pilot plant is located within the University of Wisconsin’s Babcock Hall Dairy Plant and allows for flexibility in all aspects of the cheese manufacturing process. Our team works with natural, processed, cold pack, cream cheese, and butter. CDR has the capability and experience to utilize breed and specie specific milk supplies or provide milk through the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant. We are available to work with partners to determine their goals and objectives and then set up, design, and carry out cheese trials. Contracted trials may involve testing ingredients, developing new cheeses, optimizing flavor and performance in existing cheeses, or simply finding answers to your questions. We also have a full application kitchen with cooking options similar to restaurants large and small. This allows us to evaluate how cheese tastes and functions in various food applications. Additionally, we have analysts who can conduct compositional, chemical, microbiological, sensory, and functional testing, on both routine and cutting edge products.

See how a collaboration with CDR led to an award winning cheese...and it all started at a CDR short course!


John Jaeggi, Cheese Industry & Applications Coordinator

As the coordinator of the Cheese Industry and Applications Program at CDR, John is responsible for the coordination and execution of trials and application extensions. In addition John lectures and conducts lab sessions for numerous CDR and company contracted short courses. John has a B.S. in Business and Economics. He is a third generation licensed Wisconsin Cheesemaker with over 30 years of experience in the industry. He has also been a technical judge in many contests including the United States and World Championship Cheese Contest. Phone: 608-262-2264 | Email jaeggi@cdr.wisc.edu

Gina Mode, Assistant Coordinator Cheese Industry & Applications

Gina is involved with everything from cheese trials and troubleshooting to short courses and outreach efforts. She has a B.S. in Food Science and a MBA. Gina was raised on a fifth generation family dairy farm and has been making cheese as a licensed Wisconsin cheesemaker for over a decade. She has also served as a technical judge for the American Cheese Society, North American Jersey Cheese Awards, and World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest. Gina particularly enjoys working with cheesemakers to develop new specialty cheeses. Phone: 608-262-2253 | Email gmode@cdr.wisc.edu

David Montgomery, Assistant Coordinator Cheese Industry & Applications

Outreach Specialist / Assistant Coordinator
With experience in research and development and a passion for the chemistry of cheese, David brings a wide range of skills to those looking to improve the functionality of their natural or processed cheese. David’s background in Food Science and his previous experience working with cheese sauces, cream cheese, processed cheese and various styles of natural cheese allow him to aid companies in pinpointing functionality issues. Additionally, David is able to provide industry education in regards to these areas while assisting the Cheese Applications group in everything from cheesemaking to plant visits. David remains passionate about experimenting with cheese and enjoys helping companies to create outstanding products.
Phone: 608-263-4078 | Email dwolle@cdr.wisc.edul

Andy Johnson, Assistant Coordinator Cheese Industry & Applications

As a licensed cheesemaker with over a decade of industry experience, Andy Johnson brings a great deal of knowledge and expertise to CDR clients looking to develop and refine their products. Though his focus is on specialty cheese with an emphasis on sheep and goat, Andy is involved in nearly every aspect of the CDR Cheese Applications program. From cheese trials and plant visits to short courses and presentations, Andy’s education in business as well as his previous experience as a cheesemaker in three states helps him to assist companies as they navigate all aspects of the industry. Andy is honored to aid U.S. cheesemakers and is passionate about his desire to help them to succeed and make an impact on the industry.
Phone: 608-262-1534 | email ajohnson@cdr.wisc.edu