Whose cheese pleased judges in 2021 WI State Fair dairy products contest?

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Inhaling the signature smells and delighting their taste buds, judges awarded the best of the best out of 417 entries in the Wisconsin State Fair Blue Ribbon Dairy Products contest.

Judges used all of their senses to navigate their way through an embarrassment of riches during the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products contest.

Inhaling the signature smells and delighting their taste buds with each of the 417 entries submitted in the annual contest that took place at the State Fair Park on June 24, judges chose the best of the best in the 49 classes, including new classes for cheese curds, custard and edam and gouda.

While the contest ranks the winners in each of the 49 classes, the 2021 Grand Master Cheesemaker, Grand Champion Butter, Grand Champion Yogurt, Grand Champion Sour Cream and Grand Champion Milk will be announced at the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction on Thursday, August 12 at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

According to a news release, the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction is a fundraiser for the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board. Auction proceeds fund scholarships for students pursuing dairy-related degrees and support the board’s interactive educational display – Dairy Lane – introduced in 2019 and located in the Lower Dairy Barn at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

And the winners are...

The top entries in each class include:

  • Mild Cheddar: Foremost Farms USA – Marshfield, Foremost Farms, Marshfield, Mild Cheddar.
  • Aged Cheddar: Henning’s Cheese for The Artisan Cheese Exchange, The Artisan Cheese Exchange, LTD., Sheboygan, Deer Creek The Stag.
  • Colby, Monterey Jack: Team Arena, Arena Cheese, Arena, Traditional Colby Longhorn.
  • Swiss Styles: Deppeler Team #2, Chalet Cheese Cooperative, Monroe, 20 lb. Rindless Swiss Wheel.
  • Brick, Muenster: Steve Stettler, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Muenster.
  • Mozzarella: Jeremy Robinson, Agropur, Appleton, low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  • String Cheese: Brian Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC, Waterloo, Farmers Rope String Cheese.
  • Blue Veined Cheese: Team Emmi Roth – Seymour, Emmi Roth, Fitchburg, Roth Buttermilk Blue Cheese.
  • Feta: Team R&R, Agropur, Appleton, feta cheese.
  • Flavored Pepper Cheese: Steve Stettler, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Pepper Havarti.
  • Flavored Soft Cheese: George Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC, Waterloo, Chocolate Mascarpone.
  • Flavored Semi-Soft Cheese: Lake Country Dairy, Lake Country Dairy Schuman Cheese, Turtle Lake, Dijon Herb Rubbed Fontal – Fontina.
  • Smoked Cheese: Roger Krohn, Agropur, Appleton, smoked provolone cheese.
  • Flavored Hard Cheese: Sartori, Sartori Company, Plymouth, Rosemary & Olive Oil Asiago.
  • Smear Ripened Cheese: Team Emmi Roth – Monroe, Emmi Roth, Fitchburg, Roth Grand Cru Reserve Wheel.
  • Cold Pack Cheese, Cheese Food: Team Pine River, Pine River Prepack, Newton, Pepper Jack Cold Pack Cheese Spread.
  • Pasteurized Process Cheese, Cheese Food, Cheese Spread: AMPI’s Dinner Bell Creamery, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Portage, Pasteurized Process American Swiss Cheese slice-on-slice.
  • Reduced Fat or Lite Cheese: Ron Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Odyssey Reduced Fat Mediterranean Flavored Feta.
  • Open Class – Soft and Spreadable Cheese: Brian Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC, Waterloo, Mascarpone.
  • Havarti: Dave Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Buholzer Brothers Havarti.
  • Flavored Havarti: Matt Henze, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Dill Havarti.
  • Open Class – Semi-Soft Cheese: Ben Workman, Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Creamery, Port Salute style made with Guernsey milk 3 months old.
  • Open Class – Hard Cheese: Lake Country Dairy, Lake Country Dairy Schuman Cheese, Turtle Lake, Aged Asiago – NO Lipas.
  • Flavored Goat Milk Cheese: Robert Garves, Mosaic Meadows, LLC, Kaukauna, LaClare Blueberry Vanilla Goat Cheese.*
  • Natural Goat Milk Cheese: Steve Hurd, Clock Shadow Creamery, Milwaukee, Chevre.
  • Latin American Cheese: Mark Boelk, V&V Supremo Foods – Chula Vista Cheese Company, Northbrook, Oaxaca Ball.
  • Sheep & Mixed Milk Cheese: Robert Garves, Mosaic Meadows, LLC, Kaukauna, LaClare Family Creamery Cave Aged Chandoka.
  • Gouda & Edam: Ben Workman, Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Creamery, Fort Atkinson, Gouda made with Guernsey milk 3 months old.
  • Unflavored Cheese Curds: Gary Cherney, Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese, LLC, Luxemburg, Yellow Cheese Curds: Slightly Salty.
  • Flavored Cheese Curds: Team Shullsburg Creamery – Artisan Team – Jerry Soddy, Dan Goffrey, Donavan Taylor, Shullsburg Creamery, Shullsburg, Natural Smoked Mixed Curds.
  • Salted Butter: Cropp Cooperative/Organic Valley, La Farge, Organic Salted Butter.
  • Unsalted Butter: Cropp Cooperative/Organic Valley, LaFarge, Organic Cultured Butter.
  • Flavored High Protein Yogurt: Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Odyssey Vanilla Yogurt.
  • Unflavored High Protein Yogurt: Klondike Cheese, Monroe, Odyssey Greek Yogurt.
  • Open Class – Flavored Yogurt: Yodelay Yogurt, Madison, Yodelay Rhubarb Swiss Yogurt.
  • Open Class – Unflavored Yogurt: Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Odyssey Whole Fat Yogurt.
  • Drinkable Cultured Products: Weber’s Farm Store, Marshfield, Low Fat Mango Kefir.*
  • Open Class – Flavored Sour Cream: Westby Cooperative Creamery, Westby, Westby Cooperative Creamery French Onion Dip.* 
  • Open Class – Unflavored Sour Cream: Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Odyssey Sour Cream.
  • Low Fat Sour Cream: Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Odyssey Reduced Fat, Greek Tzatziki.*
  • 2% Fluid Milk – White: Lamers Dairy, Inc., Appleton, Half-Gallon Glass Bottled 2% white milk.
  • 1% Fluid Milk – Chocolate: Lamers Dairy, Inc., Appleton, Half-Gallon glass bottled 1% chocolate milk.
  • Flavored Custard: The Creamy Pig, Cedarburg.*

* swept top placings in category.