In the late 1930s, the Creamery became interested in different ways to store cheese. Cans seemed to be the best option because plastic was not yet invented and wax cracked (enabling contamination). In the 1940s, the U.S. government and American Can Company funded WSU’s research to find a way to successfully keep the cheese in tins. One of the cheeses resulting from the research was so wonderful that it was dubbed “Cougar Gold®” after Dr. N. S. Golding, one of the men involved in the research. Canned Cougar Gold® has been in production ever since.
1980 – 1992
Production and sales continued to increase and the vision of a new production facility began to form. Production was maxed out in the Troy Hall facility and industry standards had changed. From every can of cheese sold, $1.00 was put into a building fund for a number of years to bring that vision into reality.
The Creamery currently produces 250,000 cans of cheese each year, 80% of which is Cougar Gold®. The cheeses are sold at Ferdinand’s, through the Creamery’s Direct Marketing Department for shipment, at local Pullman retailers, WSU bookstores throughout Washington, and other selected retail locations. Yes, Cougar Cheese is adored worldwide! Moreover, 22,000 gallons of ice cream (20 flavors in all!) are produced and sold annually at Ferdinand’s and other locations on the WSU campus.
Purchasing cheese from the WSU Creamery helps support student employees of Washington State University by providing competitive wages and valuable work experiences. A portion of the revenue from the sale of WSU Creamery products is used for educational support of Food Science students.