Saturday, February 04, 2006

Come and smell our dairy air

Many years ago now, when here in Wisconsin we turned our backs on our old cheese yellow liscense plates in favor of today's white plates, the state held a contest for a slogan on the plates. One of my favorites was always, "Come and smell our dairy air." The play on words was funny, but today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows us how accurate that phrase really is.
Talk about economic clusters: We claim firms that describe themselves as the country's largest producer of toilets (Kohler Co., in Kohler) and the world's largest maker of toilet seats (Bemis Manufacturing Co., in Sheboygan Falls), not to mention the world's thickest concentration of makers of toilet paper (in the Fox Valley). To finish the job, we've got Glade. Each year, S.C. Johnson & Son's Sturtevant factory turns out millions of cans of the nation's top-selling air freshener.

The Super Bowl itself testifies to our dominance: Kohler supplied the 880 toilets and 370 urinals at Detroit's Ford Field. Georgia-Pacific, which runs two mills in Green Bay and is the country's biggest producer of away-from-home toilet paper, furnished the tissue.

"Wisconsin does seem to have a pretty large share of the bathroom market, from the plumbing to the toilet paper," said Patrick Schillinger, president of the Wisconsin Paper Council. "It's not bumper-sticker type of material, so that distinction might go less noticed than other flashier industries."

Wisconsin. America's Potty Land.

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