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Wisconsin food and other home-grown presents can be nice holiday surprises. Go ask Alice (in Dairyland).

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For people outside Wisconsin who might think of the state as a home of beer and cheese, and not much else, you could surprise them with other presents from the state at Christmas. 

The “Something Special from Wisconsin” campaign lists hundreds of companies that offer products which would make nice gifts.  Taylor Schaefer, who is this year’s Alice in Dairyland, encourages shoppers to seek out the home-grown presents.

“If you’re out on the road this holiday season, and making trips to visit family, we…have a map where you can identify where these companies are,” she says. “When I’m out on the road visiting places all over the state, (I) make sure that I stop by all these companies when I’m in the area.”

Taylor Schaefer is the 75th Alice in Dairyland. (photo from Wisconsin DATCP)

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection manages the Something Special promotion.

Speaking on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk, Schaefer said the red and yellow “Something Special” label doesn’t just apply to foods from the farm.  It also covers specialties such as pasta and gourmet potato chips made in Wisconsin.

“It identifies companies that have at least 50 per cent of Wisconsin ingredients, production, or processing,” Schaefer says.

Schaefer says companies taking part in the campaign are listed on-line through somethingspecialwi.com.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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