About Us

The MAFES Sales Store (also called the MSU Cheese Store) is a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and is housed on the campus of Mississippi State University. The store exists as an outlet for the research and educational products produced by MAFES Research Support Unit Dairy Manufacturing Plant and by the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion.

The MAFES Sales Store is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.(central time) Monday through Friday. We are open during the noon hour. The store is closed during regular university holidays except the week of spring break. We will be open on days when football games are played on the campus. Please see our holiday schedule for game day store hours. The store is located in the glass annex at the front of the Herzer Food Science Building on 925 Stone Boulevard.

History of Mississippi State Cheese


In 1938, Edam cheese was introduced at Mississippi State University by Professor F.H. Herzer. Professor Herzer, who served as head of the Dairy Science Department from 1947-1958, wanted to manufacture a cheese that would draw attention to Mississippi State University like our football team. He finally decided on the three-pound cannon ball Edam cheese.

Thus it was that in 1938, the idea for Edam cheese production came to Mississippi State. A rush order to Holland secured ten teakwood hoops (molds), which left Holland just before the ports were closed because of World War II.

Struggling with just ten hoops, the department managed to make a few hundred Edams a year. From the very beginning, there has been a constant search for better methods of aging, pressing, and salting the Edams. The technique of dipping the Edams in bright red wax made them attractive and minimized surface mold growth.

In 1957, fifty new hoops were ordered from Holland, and the production capability was increased to 54 Edams per day when surplus milk was available from the university dairy herd. Consumer demand continued to grow; and by 1963, production had increased to 2400 Edams annually.

The addition of an airtight Cry-O-Vac plastic bag provided additional quality assurance and permitted the addition of the university seal to the now-famous product. In early 1970, the use of concentrated frozen bacterial cultures for cheese production was adopted at MSU. In this technique, the bacterial cultures used in cheese making are obtained in pure frozen form and are kept frozen at -80� F until just before use. The purity and freshness of the cultures helps to produce an even higher quality product.

In December 1970, the department moved into the new Fredrick Herman Herzer Dairy Science Facility. The increased storage space in the new plant permitted an increase in Edam production. Additional new hoops were secured from Holland, allowing production to increase to 165 cheeses per day. The demand continued to be greater than the supply, and the packaging area of the plant was converted to cooler space in 1973.

This permitted storage of an additional 10,000 Edams. Two new 7,000-pound cheese vats were installed in early 1976, boosting production to 300 Edams per day.Expansions of the plant�s physical facilities were completed in March, 1979. In September, 2002, expansions to the cooler and warehouse were completed. These additions have made it possible to increase production of all types of cheeses, as well as providing ample storage space for dry supplies.

Food Science students have played an important part in the success of the Edam cheese program. From 1946, when students made nine Edams per day until today when 400 Edams per day are made by six full-time employees and six part time students, Food Science students have participated in Edam cheese development. The Edam operation provides a self-supporting, semi-commercial size laboratory for teaching and research. In addition, the dairy processing plant manufactures all the fluid milk products, ice cream, and butter that are used on the MSU campus and continues to serve as one of Mississippi State University�s unique public relations productions.

Purpose of the Plant

The dairy plant is a teaching and research laboratory. This facility is equipped with some of the most modern equipment available and provides an excellent teaching and research laboratory for the students studying dairy foods at Mississippi State University. The cheese operation is a by-product of the teaching and research programs.

In addition to providing a self-supporting plant, it advertises and promotes Mississippi State University and the State of Mississippi. The plant provides some financial support for our research and teaching programs.

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Antique Edam Mold, circa 1938


Delicious MSU ice cream is a great summer time treat.