Big Or Small – Cheese Judges Love’m All

Here it comes! The World Champion Cheese contest – and it’s bigger and better than ever. John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheesemakers will be one of the busy people helping keep things moving at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, beginning on Tuesday. What you may not know is Umhoefer and an army of volunteers were actually busy preparing for the contest days ago!

Umhoefer tells Pam Jahnke that the more than 3,000 dairy entries from around the world make their first stop in Little Chute at WOW Logistics. It’s there that volunteers first unpack the shipments, and start identifying and categorizing every piece. Remember, some packages may be small – others quite large.

Umhoefer also reminds casual observations that there’s no financial reward for any of these cheesemakers or judges. Judges are known to take “vacation” time so they can be part of the event. Even the ultimate “World Champion” will receive nothing more than rosettes and a trophy cup for all their effort and investment. Umhoefer says the dividends come to them in the form of marketing arsenal, and increased sales. In fact Umhoefer can site specific winners that have had to double their plants square foot space after winning this one award. He also tells the story of winners who have been “sold out” for years following this win in Wisconsin.

You can follow the action at World Champion Cheese’ official site.