Agriculture News

December 6, 2021

Purdue Ag Swiss goes rindless while maintaining original recipe


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue tradition has returned to its roots, thanks to an Indiana creamery, while also gaining a new look. 

Schnabeltier in Rochester, Indiana, opted to craft the Swiss cheese with Purdue’s decades-old recipe, but annual cheese buyers will notice this year’s batch will be missing something, said Danica Kirkpatrick, Purdue Ag Alumni Association executive director: a rind.

Proceeds from the annual Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss Cheese sale benefit the Purdue Ag Alumni Trust Fund. The cheese is being produced using the 1969 original recipe. The fundraiser, and recipe, began with Dave Pfendler, former associate dean of agriculture, who cultivated the enterprise to fund student experiences.  

To round out the Swiss cheese’s traditional roots, the milk used to create this holiday season’s cheese comes from the dairy farm operated by Purdue alumna Connie Lemler and her husband, Andy, in Bourbon, Indiana. 

“The entire production of the cheese is locally sourced,” Kirkpatrick said. “Because it’s a small creamery, everything is done by hand. We’ve been very excited for the cheese to return to its original recipe through the partnership we have with Schnabeltier.” 

The Purdue Swiss, which can be shipped anywhere through Schnabeltier’s website, comes in four sizes, ranging from an entire wheel down to a one-pound wedge. The holiday season’s stock is limited, Kirkpatrick said, so when the distributors run out, there is no additional cheese available. 

Getting the production and aging process for a rindless Swiss took the cheesemakers about a year to conduct, said Kori Pugh, Schnabeltier operations manager. In the end, a rindless cheese benefits the consumer. 

When cheese is purchased, it’s typically by weight, leaving the consumer to pay for the leftover rind, which is frequently tossed out, Pugh said. No rind equals more cheese for your money. 

“It’s still the same really, really good creamy Swiss, which is one of the things we wanted to make sure we weren’t giving up in the process –  the quality,” Pugh said. “We are proud of our team of cheesemakers for getting this rindless process down, because it was important for us to do for customers.” 

The Ag Alumni Swiss can be purchased at six different locations in Indiana, with three in Tippecanoe County: The Boilermaker Butcher Block, located at 720 Clinic Drive on campus; D&R Market, located at 105 N. Creasy Lane in Lafayette; and Wildcat Creek Winery, located at 3233 E. 200 N. in Lafayette. Other Indiana locations include the D&R Fruit Market, located at 931 W. Market Street in Logansport; Tuttle Orchards, located at 5717 N. 300 W. in Greenfield; and 50 East Garden Center & Café, located at 5233 S. 50 E. in Wabash. 

Order yours online today through the Purdue Ag Swiss website.

Writer: Jillian Ellison, 765-494-0948,

Source: Danica Kirkpatrick, 765-494-8593,

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,

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