March Madness Gets A Cheesy Makeover

The month of March is well-known for sports. It’s filled with basketball games, March Madness brackets, and the fun of picking your favorite teams against family and friends. 76th Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow says you can make these celebrations complete with Wisconsin dairy products.

Throughout the month of March, Hagenow will be conducting the “Wisconsin Artisan Bracket.” This gives Wisconsinites the opportunity to vote for their favorite kinds of cheese. 

“We wanted to celebrate our love for cheese in a fun and engaging way that resonates with the spirit of March Madness,” says Hagenow. “With nearly 1200 varieties of cheese produced in our state, there’s no shortage of options to feature in this cheesy showdown.”

Each week, two cheeses face off in a friendly competition, allowing fans to rally behind their favorites. One round of cheeses to face off are cheese spreads and colby jack.

Cheese Spreads are a blend of natural cheese and other ingredients that are best used on crackers, sandwiches or even in recipes. You can even craft your own cheese spreads at home using almost any semi-soft or semi-hard cheese type. 

Hagenow says that Colby Jack was born in the town of Colby Wisconsin. It is a versatile mild cheese. This cheese loves to melt, but can also be served on cheese boards, salads, sandwiches or even casseroles. You can also grate it into soups and sauces for a mild and creamy flavor.

Throughout the month other cheeses will be featured as well such as aged cheddar, gouda, havarti and more.

“The best way to follow along and vote is to go to my Instagram page. There I will be making polls on my story,” says Hagenow. “That’s where you can vote for all of our elite eight cheeses throughout March. On March 30 we will have our final four with the announcement of our champion cheese on March 31.”

In addition to celebrating cheese, Wisconsin is also highlighting chocolate milk as the official beverage of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) state tournaments. By enjoying chocolate milk, fans and athletes can show their support for Wisconsin’s dairy industry while staying refreshed during sporting events.

“As a former basketball player, I understand the importance of staying nourished and hydrated, especially during intense competitions,” says Hagenow.. “Chocolate milk not only tastes great but also provides essential nutrients. This makes it the perfect beverage for athletes and fans alike.”

Throughout March and beyond, Hagenow invites cheese and chocolate milk enthusiasts to join in the celebration of the state’s rich dairy heritage. Whether cheering on favorite cheeses in the bracket or toasting with a glass of chocolate milk, there’s no better way to show appreciation for Wisconsin’s dairy industry than by indulging in its delicious offerings.

Follow along Hagenow’s journey as the 76th Alice in Dairyland on her Facebook, Instagram, twitter, or her blog