Prairie Farms has earned more accolades to back up its cheese game. A total of 13 ribbons were awarded to multiple plants within the cooperative, including two first place, five second place, and six third place wins at the 2021 National Milk Producers Federation Cheese Competition.
Twelve NMPF member dairy cooperatives from several states submitted cheeses for a chance to be tops in 20 cheese categories. Cheese entries were sent directly to NMPF judges, and after all votes were tallied, Prairie Farms won four out of nine ribbons in the three cottage cheese categories, and two first place finishes overall.
For the second year in a row, Prairie Farms swept the top three spots in the reduced-fat cottage cheese category. Plants in Quincy, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Carbondale, Illinois earned those top finishes respectively with 2 percent small curd, reduced fat-small curd, and reduced fat small curd 2 percent cottage cheeses.
Fort Wayne also earned a second place ribbon for its Garden Veggie cottage cheese cups in the flavored cottage cheese category. Carbondale followed up with a third place ribbon in the cottage cheese category for its regular small curd 4 percent cottage cheese.
Other big wins for Prairie Farms and its cheese divisions include a sweep of the top three ribbons within the Swiss Cheese category. Prairie Farms’ Luana, Iowa plant took first and third place with Swiss and Baby Swiss cheeses. Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg, Wisconsin plant earned 2nd place with its version of Baby Swiss. Luana and Shullsburg also produced second and third place wins for Havarti and Gouda cheeses in the unique or mild flavor category. Prairie Farms’ Mindoro, Wisconsin plant received second and third place finishes in the Hard & Mold Ripened Italian category with Heat Treated Gorgonzola and Blue Cheeses.
“It’s exciting to see our cheese plants bringing home so many great wins at NMPF,” said Ed Mullins, CEO of Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. “I just want to thank our hard-working dairy farmers for providing the quality milk and our people in the plants who then work their magic to deliver these delicious cheeses. We’re fortunate to have so many wins in a tough field of competitors.”
The National Milk Producers Federation awards conclude another year of best-in-class wins for Prairie Farms cheeses, including a top honor for Caves of Faribault St. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese at the North Central Cheese Industry Association’s annual cheese contest.