Cheese Was

One of the less obvious disadvantages to an ever-expanding government is the barrier it creates to entrepreneurism. And of course, even small companies that have been around a while require entrepreneurial spirit to survive. But when the costs of regulation pass a certain point, that spirit can be extinguished.

Consider the Kalona Cheese Factory in Illinois. Founded by Amish and Mennonite dairy farmers in 1946, the company’s cheese curds have become a staple in the Midwest. However, the factory is shutting down, not because it has run afoul of the government, but because new regulations have made staying in business not worth the trouble.

Ankeny-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients, which shares ownership with owners John and Joanne Roetlin of Kalona, said the closure follows “significant change within the dairy industry.”

“From advanced food safety and quality assurance requirements to more stringent environmental regulations that would require substantial capital investment,” said Gary Weihs, president of Proliant Dairy Ingredients, in a news release. “As a result of the changing environment, we have decided to close the Kalona facility. This is a difficult decision and we will continue to explore other opportunities for the facility.”

The facility employed 50 people. Impacted employees will receive compensation, severance pay and job placement assistance, the release said.

The makers of Velveeta and Cheez Whiz, meanwhile, are large enough that they’ll be able to afford the additional regulatory burden. Seems pretty cheesy to me.

A tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Legal Insurrection.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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2 Responses to Cheese Was

  1. Jerome Scott says:

    I’m glad you avoided actually calling Velveeta and Cheez Wiz “cheese. “

  2. ricki says:

    A few years ago, when the small-business-killing legislation started rolling, I predicted: “Eventually we’ll just have the big boys like Wal-Mart left.” And all of our lives will be poorer for that. Indirectly, government is leading to us having more limited choices, and this makes me unhappy. (I suppose it could also be seen as a sort of crony capitalism, where legislation has the effect of squeezing out the little guys while the big guys can hire enough lawyers or whatever to deal with it)

    Velveeta has too much salt for me to be able to eat it, but much real cheese does not. I bet the Kalona curds did not.

    I’m probably more unhappy about this than I should be, but as someone who cares about good cheese….it makes me kind of angry.

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