Prairie Farms Continues Winning Tradition at Prestigious National Cheese Contest

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The results are in from one of the most prestigious cheese competitions for North America, and Prairie Farms proved it continues to bring some serious cheese game. A total of 13 ribbons were awarded to multiple plants within the cooperative, including two 1st place, five 2nd place, and six 3rd place wins at the 2021 National Milk Producers Federation Cheese Competition. 

Twelve NMPF member dairy cooperatives from several states submitted cheeses for a chance to be tops in 20 cheese categories. Cheese entries were sent directly to NMPF judges, and after all votes were tallied, Prairie

Farms won four out of nine ribbons in the three cottage cheese categories, and two 1st place finishes overall.  

For the second year in a row, Prairie Farms swept the top three spots in the Reduced-Fat Cottage Cheese category. Plants in Quincy, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Carbondale, Illinois earned those top finishes respectively with 2% Small Curd, Reduced Fat-Small Curd, and Reduced Fat Small Curd 2% cottage cheeses. Fort Wayne also earned a 2nd place ribbon for its Garden Veggie cottage cheese cups in the Flavored Cottage Cheese category. Carbondale followed up with a 3rd place ribbon in the Cottage Cheese category for its Regular Small Curd 4% cottage cheese.  

Other big wins for Prairie Farms and its cheese divisions include a sweep of the top three ribbons within the Swiss Cheese category. Prairie Farms’ Luana, Iowa plant took 1st and 3rd place with Swiss and Baby Swiss cheeses. Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg, Wisconsin plant earned 2nd place with its version of Baby Swiss. Luana and Shullsburg also produced 2nd and 3rd place wins for Havarti and Gouda cheeses in the Unique or Mild Flavor category. Prairie Farms’ Mindoro, Wisconsin plant received 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the Hard & Mold Ripened Italian category with Heat Treated Gorgonzola and Blue Cheeses.  

“It’s exciting to see our cheese plants bringing home so many great wins at NMPF,” said Ed Mullins, CEO of Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. “I just want to thank our hard-working dairy farmers for providing the quality milk and our people in the plants who then work their magic to deliver these delicious cheeses. We’re fortunate to have so many wins in a tough field of competitors.” 

The National Milk Producers Federation awards conclude another year of best-in-class wins for Prairie Farms cheeses, including a top honor for Caves of Faribault St. Pete’s Select® Blue Cheese at the North Central

Cheese Industry Association’s (NCCIA) annual cheese contest. Since 1938, consumers have come to rely on the  consistent quality of Prairie Farms dairy products. For more information about our farmers, products, and promotions visit     

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives operating in the Midwest and the South. Elements of the cooperative include more than 700 farm families, 8100 employees, 49 manufacturing plants, over 100 distribution facilities, and annual sales of over $3 billion. Prairie Farms is a nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry known for setting the standard for milk flavor innovations and producing award-winning milk, cheese, and cultured dairy products. With headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill., the Prairie Farms distribution footprint covers over 30 percent of the United States; products are available in grocery chains, mass merchandiser stores, club stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores, schools, foodservice outlets, and warehouse distribution centers. Prairie Farms’ charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations.