Contact: Debbie Crave
Waterloo, Wis. – Debbie Crave, vice president at Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, has received the highest award conferred by the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The award was presented at a banquet and ceremony at UW-Madison by College Dean and Director Molly Jahn.
Jahn said the Honorary Recognition award is given annually to a select few “who have demonstrated outstanding and inspirational leadership, integrity and unselfish service, making significant contributions in the areas of agriculture, life sciences, natural resources and social science.” Over the past 100 years, the College has presented just 500 Honorary Recognition awards. Crave was one of only two award recipients this year.
Crave, a UW-Madison graduate in forestry and horticulture, has spent her entire career promoting Wisconsin agricultural products — one year as the state’s Number One dairy promoter, Alice in Dairyland, 16 years in marketing at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and three years at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. In 2001, she became Vice President at Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, where she manages administrative, budget, sales, public relations and marketing activities for the family business.
The Craves – Debbie, her husband George, his brothers, Charles, Thomas and Mark, and their wives — have a 1000-cow dairy farm in addition to their award-winning farmstead cheese plant. The Craves are consistently among the first in Wisconsin to incorporate innovative farming practices, and work with UW-Madison researchers to advance agricultural knowledge. They are known for welcoming guests to their farm to share their expertise in milk and cheese production techniques and environmentally sensitive stewardship of the land and water.
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The Crave family farms 1700 acres in south-central Wisconsin, growing soybeans, corn and alfalfa to use as nutritious feed for their Holstein cows. All the cheese made by George Crave, a licensed cheese maker, is made with milk from the family’s herd. Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese produces Mascarpone, Fresh Mozzarella, Farmer’s Rope String Cheese and Oaxaca, as well as their signature cheeses Les Frères and Petite Frère- French style cheeses.