Prairie Farms Cheese Division Wins Bronze at 2019 World Cheese Awards

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. A Prairie Farms Cheese Division has been named among the winners at the 32nd annual World Cheese Awards held at Fiera di Bergamo in Bergamo, Italy on October, 18th.  The impressive showing came as a record-breaking 3,804 entries were judged in a single day.  

Caves of Faribault was awarded a coveted Bronze award with its Cave-Aged Jeffs’ Select® Gouda Cheese.

Jeffs’ Select® is made from cow’s milk from Wisconsin before being finished in limestone caves at Faribault, Minnesota. The tradition produces a Gouda that’s full bodied with a classic European nuttiness and caramel notes. 

With entries representing 42 nations from six continents at the World Cheese Awards this year, Prairie Farms Caves of Faribault has gained an internationally recognized seal of approval from a truly global cheese event.

Visiting Italy for the very first time, the competition formed part of Bergamo’s annual FORME festival, taking place alongside the brand new international dairy trade show, B2Cheese. 

“Winning this award on a European stage is a great honor,” said Chris Hoeger, Prairie Farms Cheese Division President. “This was our first win at WCS since 2002 and something we can add to our resume of awardwinning cheeses. We hope it will open more doors with retailers to see that some of the world’s best Gouda is made right here in the Midwest.” 

Records were broken across the board again this year, as more nations than ever before entered cheeses into the planet’s biggest cheese-only event. Entries made their way by boat, truck, train and plane via 13 consolidation points around the world, from countries including Brazil, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. 260 judges from 35 different countries then assessed the appearance, texture, aroma and flavor of the cheeses, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries. 

The US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) played a key role in raising the visibility of American made cheeses at this year’s contest. More US dairy companies entered than ever before thanks to a program offered by USDEC that provided funding for entry costs and shipping.    

Caves of Faribault Jeffs’ Select® is available in the dairy section at grocery and foodservice outlets throughout the Midwest. To view the full line of Caves of Faribault Cheeses please visit 

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives in the Midwest, with over 800 farm families, 6000 employees, 44 manufacturing plants, over 100 distribution facilities and annual sales of over $3 billion. Prairie Farms is a nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry and is 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, food service outlets and warehouse distribution centers. Prairie Farms charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations.