Marketing is a fundamental element for Wisconsin to remain a major player in the dairy products market. To this end, the state's dairy industry must maintain and develop an effective marketing strategy. To assist dairy producers in marketing their milk, federal dairy programs have been implemented since 1933. During the Great Depression, milk marketing licenses were issued for municipal markets. In 1937, the Agricultural Marketing Agreements Act replaced licensing with federal milk orders. In the late 1940s, low prices caused Congress to pass the Agricultural Act of 1949, which created the milk support program.
This was followed by minimal congressional involvement in milk marketing until the passage of the Agricultural Act of 1977. This act adjusted support prices to seek favorable policy responses from farmers, resulting in higher prices and an increase in production. Large expenditures and onerous supplies led Congress to introduce important changes to both programs. Other milk marketing programs have also been developed from congressional actions, including export and promotion programs. The exit and consolidation of dairy processors and producers has caused a reduction in the number of marketing orders. The initial success of wheat cultivation in Wisconsin helped agriculture to develop more rapidly than in other states. The University of Wisconsin also contributed to this growth by actively promoting the industry through scientific research in the late 19th century.
William Dempster Hoard can be credited with much of the success of the Wisconsin dairy industry due to his tireless efforts to promote it for nearly fifty years. In the 1870s, leaders of Wisconsin's growing cheese industry organized several professional organizations to promote their products and overcome farmers' opposition to the cheese industry. These organizations continue to play an important role in promoting growth and development of the dairy industry in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.