Which one of these is the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin”?

The top 16 vote-getters will be announced Sept. 26, then narrowed down to 4 in a bracket competition
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 9:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Updated with an interview (see above) with Nick Novak, vice president of communications and marketing with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, about the process to narrow nominations to the 121 products up for votes and what method is used to determine the brackets narrowing the top 16 vote-getters to the final four for consideration.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Who makes the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin”? For a 7th year, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Johnson Financial Group are asking that question.

First-round voting started Monday, Sept. 19. Click here to vote.

There are 121 products up for your vote on the WMC website this year (read the complete list below). About 30 are made in our corner of Wisconsin, including 4 products from Neenah, 4 from Sheboygan, 3 from Oshkosh, and 2 each from Appleton and Oconto.

An incredible 105 products will be knocked out in the first round of voting, which ends at 5 P.M. on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The 16 top vote-getters will compete in a bracket-style competition starting Thursday, Sept. 29.

Your votes over the next month will winnow the list to four finalists, with the winner announced during an event in Madison on Oct. 19.

Northeast Wisconsin earned bragging rights with 3 of the last 6 winners.

2022 brings an extremely varied list of choices, including everyday items like a clothesline, the U.S. flag, knit hats and beanies, and machine-crafted pens and spinning tops. Refreshing treats like cheese curds (two brands are competing), cow pies, pizza, and root beer (we noticed Jolly Good Soda, which made it to the top 16 last year, is back on this year’s list).

Go big in the voting with large products like a pumper fire truck, a Great Lakes freighter, and a steel bridge. The manufacturing field also includes a concrete batch plant, can filler, metal packaging, and collapsible shipping crates.

There are earth-saving devices like an aquatic trash skimmer, high-rate wastewater treatment system, and food packaging that slows spoilage. Health care is represented by products such as body lotion, radiotherapy equipment, UV-C disinfecting system, and snake venom. For sports and outdoor lovers, check out the all-composite NASCAR body, pickleball nets, and fishing reels.

This year’s nominees, listed alphabetically by manufacturer, are:

3000 Series Subsea Rotary Actuator – 2G Engineering (Sun Prairie)

TomoTherapy – Accuray (Madison)

ClimaCab – Acoustic Remedy Cases (Viroqua)

12″ Cast Iron Bucket Attachment For a Compact Utility Tractor – Amerequip (Kiel)

Personalized Lithopanes – Another Turn Woodworks (Neenah)

Aquatic Trash Skimmer – Aquarius Systems (North Prairie)

Mammoth 850 – Ariens (Brillion)

Voyager HD Mainline Inspection System – Aries Industries Inc. (Waukesha)

Cast Iron Skillet – Austin Foundry Cookware (Sheboygan)

Cow Pie – Baraboo Candy Company (Baraboo)

Great Plate – BethRick Inc. (Oshkosh)

Everyday Carry Items – BilletSPIN EDC (Oshkosh)

Bittercube Bitters – Bittercube (Milwaukee)

FlippinTiki – Boatlink LLC (Sheboygan Falls)

Customized Conference Table – Built-Rite BR Inc. (Stanley)

Neebish Islander III – Burger Boat Company (Manitowoc)

Hercules Pickleball Net – Carron Net Company, Inc. (Two Rivers)

Plate Fin Heat Exchanger – Chart Industries (La Crosse)

Tomberlin E-Merge Beachcomber – Columbia Vehicle Group (Reedsburg)

RMC-30X Large Format 3D Printer – Compound Dynamics LLC (Wausau)

Cree Lighting Cadiant Dynamic Skylight – Cree Lighting (Racine)

50 GLS Yacht – Cruisers Yachts (Oconto)

BuddyBoard Hangboard – Danger Buddies LLC (Butler)

DarkAero 1 – DarkAero Inc. (Madison)

Circuit boards – Ducommun (Appleton)

Dynex Hydraulic PV7000 Checkball Pump – Dynex/Rivett Inc. (Pewaukee)

U.S. Flag – Eder Flag Mfg. Co., Inc. (Oak Creek)

All natural cheddar cheese curds – Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery (Ellsworth)


Source Four LED Series 3 – ETC, Inc (Middleton)

Home Arcade Cabinets – Extreme Home Arcades (Stevens Point)

Cheese Curds – Feltz’s Dairy Store (Stevens Point)

M/V Mark W. Barker – Fincantieri Bay Ship (Sturgeon Bay)

NASCAR Body – Five Start Fabricating, Inc. (Twin Lakes)

The Patrol Commander™ Ultra SSC6100 – FORCE America Inc (Waukesha)

30,000 Gallon Multi-Purpose Solvent Storage Tank – Fourinox (Ashwaubenon)

Freudenthal Mfg Clothesline – Freudenthal Manufacturing (Medford)

Generac Guardian® 26kW Home Standby Generator – Generac Power Systems (Whitewater)

Pipettes, Centrifuges, Liquid Handlers – Gilson Incorporated (Middleton)

Golden Hawk Canoes – Golden Hawk LLC (Merrill)

Plant Based Queso Style Dip – Good Foods (Pleasant Prairie)

LOADMASTER 2X – H&S Manufacturing (Marshfield)

Pickup Pod – Hatco Corporation (Milwaukee)

Metal Packaging Equipment – HeatTek (Ixonia)

Durapro Trailer – Helgesen Industries (Hartford)

Aerozen Advanced Performance Coating System – Hentzen Coatings, Inc. (Milwaukee)

Body lotion – Hippychick Penny’s Soaps and Body Care (Fort Atkinson)

Trackless Trolley Bus – Hometown Trolley (Crandon)

Mighty Hoop – HoopMaster (Germantown)

Spotted Cow Labels – Inland Packaging (La Crosse)

SlideMaster – Innovative Industries Inc (Antigo)

Micro Tensile Bars – Isometric Micro Molding, Inc. (New Richmond)

BosScrew – ITW Shakeproof Industrial (Watertown)

Mega Torque with VFD – J&D Manufacturing (Eau Claire)

Kippered Beef Steak – Jack Link’s Protein Snacks (Minong)

Sweet Potato Chips – Jackson’s Food Company (Muskego)

Concrete Batch Plant – JEL Manufacturing LLC (Milwaukee)

Innofill Can DVD can filler – KHS USA, Inc. (Waukesha)

600 Series Folding Chairs – KI (Bonduel)

Odyssey Feta Cheese – Klondike Cheese (Monroe)

The Abstra™ Collection by Kohler WasteLAB® – Kohler Company (Kohler)

P&H 4800XPC – Komatsu (Milwaukee)

Jolly Good Soda – Krier Foods (Random Lake)

CCS Cutback Random Orbital Pads – Lake Country Manufacturing (Oconomowoc)

Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert – Liv a Little Vegan Ice Cream (Milwaukee)

Lacquer Masters – Lucky Mastering (Middleton)

Magic Worm Ranch – Magic Products Inc (Amherst)

Marshfield Furniture – Marshfield Furniture Company (Marshfield)

Scag EVZ – Metalcraft of Mayville (Mayville)

Gourmet Popcorn – Minocqua Popcorn and Puffs (Minocqua)

Cranology® – Mother Nature’s Trading Company™ (Brookfield)

Venom – MToxins Venom Lab (Oshkosh)

Executive Cut – Refillable Leather Folio – Murdy Creative Co (Horicon)

Walk-In Coolers & Freezers – Norlake, Inc. (Hudson)

Eyebox Concussion Assessment – Oculogica (New Richmond)

Surfer Boy Pizza – Palermo’s Pizza (Milwaukee)

Indonesian Patchouli Lotion – Patchouli Garden (Park Falls)

UV-C LED Bore Disinfection System – PDC Facilities, Inc. (Hartland)

Tobin Ellis Signature Series Limited Edition Mobile Bar – Perlick (Milwaukee)

HB-1 Hummingbird Feeder – Peter’s Feeders (Cameron)

Pierce® Volterra™ Pumper – Pierce® Manufacturing Inc. (Appleton)

Quidel Savanna – Plexus Corp. (Neenah)

Notorious P.I.G. Pulled Pork Rub – PS Seasoning (Iron Ridge)

The Rapid Radicals Treatment System – Rapid Radicals Technology, LLC (Milwaukee)

Bariatric Nursing Manikin – Realityworks, Inc. (Eau Claire)

Sports Flooring – Robbins (White Lake)

Custom Photo Engraving – Rough Cut Company (Wisconsin Rapids)

Custom Fabricated pressure tanks – Samuel Pressure Vessel Group (Tomahawk)

C3 Custom Coolers – Seljan Company (Lake Mills)

SharkCrate Collapsible Shipping Crate – SharkCrates (Milwaukee)

MachCure – Sheboygan Paint Company (Sheboygan)

Roots Energy – Silver Star Nutrition (New Lisbon)

Belterra Stone Products – Silvermine Stone Company (Eau Claire)

Custom Archtop Jazz Guitar – Smocke Guitars (Little Chute)

SoFresh Food Waste Solutions – SoFresh, Inc. (Kenosha)

Speyco Flyreels – Speyco Reels (Oconto)

Root Beer – Sprecher Brewery (Glendale)

Standard Imaging MAX SD System – Standard Imaging, Inc. (Middleton)

Intermodal Chassis – Stoughton Trailers (Stoughton)

Handcrafted Mug – Sunset Hill Stoneware (Neenah)

Wine Pouch – Sunset Point Winery (Stevens Point)

Thread Rolling Machines – Tesker Mfg (Saukville)

Entire Premium Top Allergen-Free Baking Mix Collection – The Pink Bakery, Inc (Milwaukee)

The Hercu-Hauler Heavy-Duty User-Friendly Material Handling Cart – The Scharine Group Inc. (Whitewater)

Filamet™ – The Virtual Foundry (Stoughton)

Custom Foam Inserts – TraceMySpace (Bangor)

Marvoloc – Tremar Corp Inc (Muskego)

Big Bag Yellow Popcorn – Valley Popcorn Company (Neenah)

Basketball Scoring table – Varsity Scoring Tables (Whitewater)

Steel Bridge – Veritas Steel (Eau Claire)

XM157 NGSW-FC – Vortex® (Barneveld)

Robust Steel Max – Vyper Industrial (Green Bay)

Wander Wild Farm bouquets* – Wander Wild Farm (Eagle River)

Challenger Bread Pan® – Waupaca Foundry (Waupaca)

VUE Collection – Weather Shield Windows & Doors (Medford)

Jalapeno Cheddar Meat Sticks – Wenzel’s Farm, LLC (Marshfield)

Raw Goat Milk Soap – Wild Root Acres LLC (Plymouth)

Alloys – Winsert (Marinette)

Knit Hats and Beanies – Wisconsin Knitwear, Inc. (Milwaukee)

WiLLsport™ Outdoor Sports & Entertainment Lighting System – Wisconsin Lighting Lab, Inc. (Fond du Lac)

Yogurt Chips – Yips Snacks Inc (Madison)

Powerheart® G5 AED – ZOLL Medical Corporation (Deerfield)

*Note: Wander Wild Farm bouquets, by Wander Wild Farm of Eagle River, was not among the choices when voting started Sept. 19.)

The first round of voting ends Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 5 P.M. Click here to vote.