AUTHOR TALK: Cheese Fever; A History of "Soft Michigan" Cheese 1825-1925

Date:  March 31, 2018  
Time:  01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Location: 702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48915 (Jump to map)

Woman wearing a white bonnet holding a wheel of cheese

Presented by author Dr. Laurie Perkins, Education Historian, Michigan Historical Museum
1 - 2  P.M., Lake Erie Room

In 1866, through the encouragement of the Michigan State Board of Agriculture, several Lenawee County farmers began the commercial production of “Soft Michigan” cheese. The commercial success of these farm-made cheeses helped shape business and political careers in southeast Michigan. “Soft Michigan” cheese production transformed the practice of agriculture by increasing the roles of technology and science and the involvement of government in the food supply. Applying science and technology to food production would lower health risks to consumers and ensure that only the best dairy products were made into cheese.  Science, technology, education, government regulation, and capital would promote “cheese fever” on even the humblest of dairy farms.

About the Author

A native of rural Lenawee County Laurie Catherine Perkins enjoyed growing up on her family farm. Her interest in rural communities motivated her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in 2010.  She is the author of a number of books on the four townships where she grew up.  Wreck on the Wabash (2001), In the Center of Four Townships: The History of Sand Creek, Michigan (2006), Sand Creek Telephone Company 1908-2008, a history (2008). She and her husband Eric live in an 1880s farmhouse near Grand Ledge, Michigan.