Area cheesemakers to compete in U.S. cheese contest

Western Wisconsin cheesemakers are competing at the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest next month in Green Bay.

March 5 through 7, eleven companies from the region will submit their dairy products for a chance to be the nation’s best.

There are a record breaking 2,555 cheese, butter, yogurt, and dry dairy entries in the competition this year. Participation is up 11 percent from 2017, when the biennial Contest was last held.

“The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest continues to grow, and competition is stiffer with each passing year,” said Kirsten Strohmenger, Events Manager for the Contest host organization, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. “Entrants value judges’ feedback, and often enjoy a sales bump when they earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal.”

Competing Western Wisconsin dairy producers include: Associated Milk Producers, Inc. of Blair and Jim Falls, CROOP Cooperative-Organic Valley of La Farge, Eau Galle Cheese of Durand, Foremost Farms of Sparta, Gilman Cheese of Gilman, Hidden Springs Creamery of Westby, LaGrander’s Hillside Dairy of Stanley, Nordic Creamery of Westby, Pasture Pride Cheese of Cashton, Prairie Farms Dairy of Mindoro, and Westby Cooperative Creamery of Westby.

In 2017, Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski of Antigo won the title with Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano. Second and third place also went to Wisconsin cheesemakers.

The 2019 Contest features products from cheesemakers in 35 states, including Wisconsin.

The public is welcome to view the judges at work on Tuesday, March 5 and Wednesday, March 6 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Full details are available at USChampionCheese.org, and admission and samples are free!

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