Innovative flavor combinations capture judges' attention.
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Five Prairie Farms’ cheese plants were among the top winners of the American Cheese Society Judging and Competition, the largest event of its kind for American-made cheeses. The award ceremony was held during the 39th Annual American Cheese Society Conference in Portland, Oregon, on July 20-23. This year’s competition featured cheeses from 196 companies with over 1,400 entries competing in 120 categories and tested by an esteemed panel of 30 judges.

Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg Creamery in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, crafted three delightful surprises for the ACS judges in the Flavored Cheeses, Butter, and Cultured Dairy
Products Category:

• Open Category – Cheeses with Flavor Added – all milks and mixed milks:

o 2nd Place: Shullsburg Creamery Jack n Dill
o 3rd Place: Shullsburg Creamery Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar

• Cheese Curds with Flavor Added – all milks:
o 3rd Place: Shullsburg Creamery Jalapeno Cheese Curds

In the Blue Mold Cheeses Category, the Prairie Farms’ plants in Mindoro, Wisconsin, and Faribault, Minnesota, received two awards:

• 2nd Place: Mindoro Collection: Blue Cheese Wheel (Subcategory – Rindless Blue-veined – made from cow’s milk)
• 2nd Place: Caves of Fairbault Felix Blue (Subcategory – Blue-veined with a rind or external coating – made from cow’s milk)

In the American Made/International Style Category, it was a near-sweep with the Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg (White Hill), Wisconsin, and Luana, Iowa plants taking two of three awards in the Emmental-style with Eye Formation Swiss, Baby Swiss, Blocks, Wheels Subcategory:

• 2nd Place: Baby Swiss Wheel
• 3rd Place: Swiss Cheese

Finally, in the Low Fat/Low Salt Cheeses Category, Prairie Farms’ Luana, Iowa plant was awarded 2nd place for Neufchatel in Light/Lite and Reduced Fat Cheeses Subcategory.

“We are fortunate to have an experienced team of dedicated cheese makers producing award-winning cheeses our consumers can enjoy,” said Mike Christensen, Cheese Division Vice President of Sales. “All of which would not be possible without our farmer community providing us with the highest quality milk.”

About ACS: ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. At more than 2,600 members strong, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development, and networking opportunities for cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts, and extended industry. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts the foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition in North America. ACS is a 501(c)6 nonprofit association headquartered in Denver, CO. To learn more about ACS, please visit www.cheesesociety.org or contact 720-328-2788.

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives operating in the Midwest and the South. Elements of the cooperative include more than 700 farm families, 7,000 team members, 47 manufacturing plants, over 100 distribution facilities, and annual sales of over $3.6 billion. Prairie Farms is a nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry known for setting the standard for milk flavor innovations and producing award-winning milk, cheese, and cultured dairy products. With headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill., the Prairie Farms distribution footprint covers over 30 percent of the United States; products are available in grocery chains, mass merchandiser stores, club stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores, schools, foodservice outlets, and warehouse distribution centers. For more information about our farmers and cheeses, please visit www.prairiefarmscheese.com.

The South Island dairy company Synlait Milk is back in the black as its ingredients division saw higher than normal sales, while its major customer rebalanced inventory levels.

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