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US Championship Cheese Contest Held at – Where Else? – Lambeau Field in Green Bay

Image: US Championship Cheese Contest Held at – Where Else? – Lambeau Field in Green Bay

Cheese ages at LaClare Farms in Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Bryna Godar)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:34 AM

The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is underway in Green Bay, Wisconsin, bringing together more than 2,300 entries in what many consider cheese-lovers heaven. For the winners, it could be good for business.

WLUK-TV noted the contest is being held at the Lambeau Field Atrium, home of the Green Bay Packers – whose fans embrace the nickname "cheeseheads."

The competition is big business for cheese makers with a title meaning a big boost to their coffers, said the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

For example, Holland's Family Cheese, whose aged Marieke Gouda was named the nation's top cheese in 2013, went from making 1,800 pounds in 2006 to 275,000 pounds last year.

"Within 20 to 30 minutes of the online announcement of the award, the first online orders came in," said Marieke Penterman of Holland's Family Cheese. "The next days the phones were just ringing. On a personal note, my immigration lawyer said now would be a good time to apply for a green card on an extraordinary ability route."

The contest, which is put on by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, rates the top cheeses in 105 different categories. Then the top cheese among all the categories is announced. That will happen Thursday at the KI Convention Center.

The association announced last month that the cheese contest's entries grew 22 percent in overall entries, which also includes butter and yogurt competitions. Last year, the contest had 1,892 entries.

"Emmi Roth USA's win at last year's World Championship Cheese Contest boosted their sales, and other cheesemakers took notice," said Kirsten Henning, events manager for the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. "There's no doubt that the growth in the number of our contest entries is related to an increased interest in marketing cheeses as award-winners."

Penterman told the Press-Gazette that U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is a more technical cheese contest and cheesemakers are often working to strike a happy middle between customers and judges.

"Between what the consumer likes and what the judges will judge at the competition, there is some difference," Penterman told the newspaper. "You have to find the right balance."

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The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is underway in Green Bay, Wisconsin, bringing together more than 2,300 entries in what many consider cheese-lovers heaven. For the winners, it could be good for business.
us, championship, cheese, contest
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2017-34-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:34 AM
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