Wisconsin Cheeses Reign at US Championship Cheese Contest

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin cheesemakers captured almost half of the awards at the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, including first and second-runner up, both awarded to Marieke Gouda of Thorp, Wisconsin.

Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda won first and second-runner up at this year’s competition for Marieke Gouda Premium and Marieke Gouda Overjarige, respectively. Using farmstead-fresh, raw cow’s milk from her family’s farm in northern Wisconsin, Marieke crafts authentic Dutch-style gouda using time-tested, Old World cheesemaking methods. Dozens of awards have followed, including the U.S. Grand Champion title at the competition in 2013 and second-runner up in 2017.

Wisconsin dominated the competition by sweeping 26 classes and further proved its mastery in many varieties, including aged cheddar. Wisconsin swept the Traditional Waxed Cheddar – Sharp to Aged class; Team Artisan Cheese Exchange won Best of Class for Deer Creek The King, Henning’s Cheese took first runner-up for Two Year Old Cheddar and Springside Cheese claimed second runner-up for Aged Cheddar.

“Congratulations to all the winners from across the country. We are so proud of our Wisconsin cheesemakers not only because of the many awards they brought home this week, but also because of the passion and innovation they put into their craft every single day,” said Suzanne Fanning, Chief Marketing Officer for Wisconsin Cheese. “Because of our many amazing makers, Wisconsin really is the State of Cheese.”

Wisconsin cheesemakers secured 168 total awards, including 57 Best of Class awards, 58 First Runner-Up awards and 53 Second Runner-Up awards. 51 Wisconsin dairy companies won one or more awards. Wisconsin cheese and dairy companies that won 5 or more awards include Marieke Gouda, Carr Valley Cheese Company, Klondike Cheese Company, Agropur, Sartori Company, Mill Creek Cheese, Lactalis, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Foremost Farms USA – Chilton, AMPI, Saputo Cheese USA Inc. and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company.

With a record-breaking 2,555 entries from 35 U.S. states, the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the country. To learn more about award-winning Wisconsin cheeses from this competition and more, visit WisconsinCheese.com.

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at wisconsindairy.org.

About Wisconsin Cheese: The tradition of cheesemaking excellence began more than 150 years ago, beforeWisconsin was recognized as a state. Wisconsin’s 1,200 cheesemakers, many of whom are third- and fourth-  generation, continue to pass on old-world traditions while adopting modern innovations in cheesemaking craftsmanship. For more information, visit WisconsinCheese.com or connect on Facebook.