Kanneberg Cheese Factory
Contact: Tom Lemke
My father hauled his milk to Randt's dairy from about 1946 until he sold his farm in 1979. Prior to the factory being owned by Gordon Randt, I think Tom Fisher owned it. When Gordon purchased the factory, my father was one of the first patrons to start hauling milk to the factory. If I remember the story correctly, Mr. Fisher lost the factory because the milk checks started to bounce. When Gordon purchased the factory many local farmers were skeptical about selling milk there because of the bad experience.
I remember thinking it was a real treat to ride to the cheese factory as we called it in the morning before breakfast. Dad milked the cows starting about 6 AM and by 7:15 AM he was finished and loading the truck to drive the 1/2-mile to the factory. In later years, when I didn't go along to deliver the milk, I would sit at the kitchen table and wait for my Dad to come home. I could tell when he would be almost finished by watching the steam rise out of the stack from the can washer.
Randt's continued accepting canned milk long after many other cheese factories stopped accepting it. It was some time in the late 1970's that they finally stopped accepting milk in 10-gallon cans. Dad always said he would not install a bulk tank if the factory ever stopped taking cans. When I graduated from High School in 1975, the following fall, I left for school in Wausau. Within the first three weeks that I went to school in the fall of 1975, Dad purchased and installed a bulk tank so he could continue milking cows and selling the milk to Randt's.
Sometime in the 1980's Gordon Randt sold the factory and it was turned into an auto body shop.
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