Prairie Farms Cream Cheese Named Grand Champion at NCCIA Cheese Contest

Edwardsville, Ill. – Prairie Farms Cream Cheese produced at Luana, Iowa was named Grand Champion of the North Central Cheese Industries Association annual cheese contest held in Norwood, Minnesota. 

Prairie Farms Cream Cheese took the top honors in the Miscellaneous category of the contest with a 99.167 score. Prairie Farms Cheese Division, Caves of Faribault, finished second in the same category with a score of 99.033 for St. Pete’s Select® Blue Cheese.  

Entries for the NCCIA Cheese Contest competed in three categories including Cheddar Block, Barrel, and Miscellaneous. Cheddar Block entries required a minimum of 40lbs and the manufacture date. Barrel entries consisted of 3 plugs of cheese taken at random with a barrel cheese trier. Miscellaneous entries were standard commercial size and included any type of cheese except Cheddar.

Judging took place at Bongards’ Creameries in Norwood, MN by professionally-trained judges. All entries were graded with an official scorecard identifying the grade and feedback of the products submitted. Judges selected one Grand Champion, as well as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category.

This is a result of consistent quality from our farmers and through our manufacturing processes and dedicated employees of Prairie Farms’ Luana plant,” said Ray Downes, General Manager at Luana.  

Contest winners were recognized during the banquet dinner at the NCCIA Annual Conference on October 14th. 1st place in each category received $40 cash from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Award-winning cheeses were put up for auction at the conference. Proceeds from the conference and auction are used to support

annual scholarships at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, South Dakota State University and

University of Wisconsin- River Falls.                                                                                     

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives in the Midwest and parts of the South. Elements of the cooperative include more than 800 farm families, 8100 employees, 51 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.

About the North Central Cheese Industries Association – Established in 1951, NCCIA is a not-for-profit trade organization whose mission is to advance the knowledge of its members by providing opportunities to interact with experts in the business and learn technical aspects of the cheese industry. NCIAA is governed by a volunteer board of 15 individuals who are active in the cheese business; assisted by advisors from academic institutions, government and state regulatory agencies.