DENVER – The American Cheese Society Judging and Competition, the largest event of its kind for American-made cheeses, will take place May 19-20, 2022, at the TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus. Canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Judging and Competition (J&C) will be held separately from the Conference in 2022 for the first time. Following this year’s virtual 38th ACS Annual Conference (July 28-30, 2021), entries for the J&C will open in October 2021, with winners announced at the 39th ACS Annual Conference, which will be held in Portland, Oregon from July 20-23, 2022.
The ACS Competition shines the spotlight on American cheesemakers by showcasing their talents and work as leaders within the industry, both for their excellent cheesemaking and commitment to food safety. Growing from just 89 entries 37 years ago, the ACS J&C welcomed cheeses and cultured dairy products from 257 companies in 2019, when it was last held in Richmond, Virginia. Competing entries represented 35 U.S. states, 4 Canadian provinces, Mexico, and Brazil. The ACS awarded a total of 433 awards including 139 gold medals, 143 silver medals and 151 bronze medals. The 2022 event is expected to receive 1500 entries in 120 categories.
“Given the extraordinary year we’ve all had, we are very excited to welcome entries for the Judging and Competition this October,” said Lynn Giacomini Stray, board vice president of ACS. “This is a significant event which celebrates the individual efforts of talented cheesemakers who continue to collectively advance the quality and character of American cheeses, while offering our members the opportunity for valuable feedback from expert judges,” she added.
Cheeses entered in the competition will be received May 17-18, 2022, with judging from May 19-20. More information will be shared at the virtual 38th ACS Conference, which will gather artisan cheesemakers, industry professionals, purchasers, and influencers from the United States, Canada, and Europe. Registration for the “Moving Forward Together with Purpose” event remains open at https://www.cheesesociety.org/2021-conference/. The schedule of events and extensive roster of speakers offer attendees unparalleled educational and competitive advantages that they can return to without restriction until the end of October, 2021. Sponsors supporting the 2021 virtual conference include Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, DPI Specialty Foods, Gourmet Foods International, Murray’s Cheese, Whole Foods, and the American Cheese Education Foundation.
For a list of past J&C winners and judges, visit https://www.cheesesociety.org/competition-winners.
About American Cheese Society
ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. At 2,300 members strong, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development, and networking opportunities for cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts, and extended industry. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts the foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition in North America. ACS is a 501(c)6 nonprofit association headquartered in Denver, Colo. To learn more about ACS, please visit http://www.cheesesociety.org or contact 720-328-2788.