Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker kicked off the state's first "Dairy Month" by designating cheese as Wisconsin's official state dairy product.
"Wisconsin is America's Dairyland — it's only fitting we designate cheese as our official state dairy product," Walker said in a statement about the signing of Assembly Bill 73. "With this designation, we're giving cheese the recognition it deserves."
Walker signed the bill at Miller Point Elementary, whose fourth-grade students had proposed the idea of giving one of Wisconsin's most iconic foods some official standing.
Cheese will now join the cow and milk as official state symbols listed in Wisconsin's Blue Book, in accordance with Wisconsin law. The dairy cow was designated Wisconsin's official domestic animal in 1971 and milk was named its official state beverage in 1987.
"A big thanks to the fourth graders here at Miller Point Elementary who came up with the idea in the first place," Walker said. "They felt passionately that cheese should be the state dairy product, followed their idea through the legislative process, and helped make it a reality."
As cheese is a prominent part of Wisconsin's identity, some took to Twitter to express their surprise that cheese is only now the state's official dairy product.
What the heck was it before?— Ed Gallagher (@ejgallagher1) June 1, 2017
I really thought that went without saying.— Chris DeMuth Jr (@ChrisDeMuthJr) June 1, 2017
Assembly Bill 73 was authored by state Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and state Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). It passed the Wisconsin Assembly with a vote of 96-0 and was concurred through the Senate.