MADISON – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is calling for member nominations of individuals to be recognized in 2019 for outstanding contributions to the dairy processing industry.  Members have through Friday, Aug. 31 to make their recommendations for WCMA awards.  

The WCMA Cheese Industry Champion Award is given to industry leaders who through their business decisions have created tremendous opportunity for others and spurred industry growth.  People to be considered are the CEOs, Directors, Presidents, and Vice Presidents of their companies, and lead and direct resources.  They may or may not have cheesemaking obligations or past experience.  In 2018, Mark Davis of Davisco Foods International and Dolores Wheeler of Gossner Foods were honored. 

The WCMA Distinguished Service Award recognizes supplier partner members who have played a significant role in building the success of the United States dairy industry, contributing innovations in dairy manufacturing.  In 2018, this award went to Jim Banks of Banks Consulting and John Nelson of Nelson-Jameson, Inc. 

The WCMA Vanguard Award is reserved for cheesemakers or cheese manufacturing employees who are considered ground-breakers for their innovations in day-to-day dairy operations.  In 2018, this award was given to Raymond Dyke of Cabot Cooperative Creamery and Agri-Mark and Gary Grossen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Babcock Hall Dairy. 

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The WCMA Babcock Award recognizes the contributions of those in education or affiliate organizations to partner with cheesemakers in the pursuit of dairy industry innovation and excellence.  In 2018, WCMA honored Dr. David Barbano of Cornell University and Dr. Purnendu C. Vasavada of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with this award. 

WCMA members may submit nominations through an easy-to-use form available at or by contacting WCMA Communications, Education, and Policy Director Rebekah Sweeney at  Again, the deadline for submissions is Friday, Aug. 31. 

All nominations will be considered by the members of the WCMA Recognition Committee, with final awards determinations made by the WCMA Board of Directors.  Awards will be announced early in 2019, and given out at the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in April. 

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