Wisconsin dominated the 2015 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Milwaukee, sweeping more than a third of the categories judged.
America’s Dairyland claimed two of the three overall awards. John (Randy) Pitman, a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker at Mill Creek Cheese Factory in Arena, Wisconsin, took First Runner-Up for his brick cheese. Founded in 1891, Mill Creek Cheese Factory is the oldest operating cheese plant in southwest Wisconsin’s Iowa County. Second Runner-Up went to Land O’Lakes, Inc. in Kiel, Wisconsin, for their medium cheddar.
This year’s contest drew a record-breaking 1,892 entries from 28 states. Wisconsin captured 59 percent of awards: 160 of the total 270 given, far more than any other state. New York ranked second in total awards with 20, followed by Vermont with 18 and California with 16.
Fifty-six Wisconsin companies took one or more awards with 11 garnering five or more. They are: Agropur inc.; BelGioioso Cheese, Inc.; Carr Valley Cheese Co., Inc.; Edelweiss Creamery; Hidden Springs Creamery; Holland’s Family Cheese, LLC; Klondike Cheese Co.; Lactalis Deli, Inc.; Mill Creek Cheese Factorty; Montchevré-Betin Inc.; and Sartori Company.