California's cheese industry showed dramatic growth in 2001, according to the California Milk Advisory Board.

Preliminary estimates from the California Department of Food and Agriculture report California's production of natural cheese reached a record 1.643 billion pounds in 2001, a 9.8 percent increase over the previous year.

The increase was even more impressive coming on the news that total U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. It was the first such decline in U.S. cheese production since 1984.