Produced by professional master's students in the UW–Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Spring 2024

One of a kind meat training program brings people from across the country to Madison

Varsity Meats butcher counter. Photo by Amélie Mahony.

Despite the meat industry being one of the biggest industries in Wisconsin, the community of people who work in the meat business is relatively small. However, in Madison, these people can come together in an educational environment to learn more about different developments in the field to bring home to their businesses and form connections that could benefit them in the future. UW–Madison is home to a two-year training program, known as the Master Meat Crafter Program, that offers members of the meat industry new skills and knowledge to take their careers to the next level. Read more.

Training the people who make Wisconsin cheese unique

Brad Harkins, Center for Dairy Research cheesemaker, monitoring cheese vat operation with Mark Johnson, a distinguished scientist with the center. Photo courtesy of Center for Dairy Research.

After spending several years making yogurt, Brad Harkins decided to try something new. But he was still interested in working in the food industry, and he homed in on cheesemaking because of Wisconsin's reputation for producing America’s best cheese. One of his friends recommended he check out the Center for Dairy Research at UW-Madison. Wisconsin is widely regarded for producing America’s best cheese, and its rich history in cheesemaking dates back to about 180 years ago. It is the only state that requires cheesemakers like Harkins to go through apprenticeship and be licensed. Read more.

Scratch cooking pilot program shows promise for the future of MMSD school lunches

Tyrone Reese, Ana Paula Johnson-Strader and Perez Gomez prepare lunch in the Nuestro Mundo kitchen. Photo by Jess Miller.

The Madison Metropolitan School District's scratch cooking pilot program is the latest step in the district's ongoing effort to provide healthier, more diverse options in school lunches. Since February, Nuestro Mundo students have enjoyed lunches cooked from scratch on two days a week as part of a pilot initiative which the creators hope will soon come to more Madison schools. Read more.

A taste of France in the heart of Madison

French House diners enjoying fine cuisine and conversation. Photo by Mafe Pavenello.

As morning breaks over North Frances Street, the kitchen of the French House gets filled with the clattering of pans and dishes. It’s the start of another bustling day for chef Karen Ladell and her team as they prepare for the final public meal of the semester. The French House is a cultural hub for Francophiles and language enthusiasts, and over the past century, the French House has evolved into a vibrant environment where residents and visitors gather twice a week to speak French, enjoy delicious meals and forge connections. Read more.