Cheese Contest Underway!

The 2024 World Championship Cheese Contest is officially underway! Now through Thursday, more than 3,300 cheese, yogurt, butter, and dry dairy products will be evaluated by a skilled team of internationally renowned judges.

Preliminary rounds of judging are open for public observation from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison. Attendance is free, and samples will be available. The event culminates with the exciting announcement of the 2024 World Champion Cheese live online at on Thursday, March 7 at 2 p.m.

“We’re honored to shine the spotlight on the craftsmanship, skill, and passion of the world’s dairy manufacturers. This one-of-a-kind event offers a wealth of opportunities to reach new customers, achieve national recognition, and gain technical feedback from the industry’s top experts,” says John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

Below are some highlights from Day 1:

The World Championship Cheese Contest — it’s possible thanks to the B-Team, 122 volunteers who sort and serve thousands of dairy products to the judges. These volunteers are people throughout the dairy industry from finance to marketing and from processing to education. Meet two B-Teamers who are proud to give back to the industry. 

MaKenzie Skibbie is a junior at UW-River Falls. She’s about three-quarters of the way to getting her cheesemaking license. Hannah Workman of Edelweiss Creamery in Monticello was making cheese at 2 a.m. so she could volunteer for the day.

The judges alone can’t eat all 3,302 entries! So, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association will use the dairy products to give back to the community. Umhoefer has the details.

This year, a total of 3,302 entries have been submitted across 142 classes by dairy manufacturers from 25 countries around the world. These products will be evaluated by a judging team comprised of 53 cheese graders, cheese buyers, dairy science professors, and researchers hailing from 11 countries.

Watch for the results:

Pictured: Judges begin cutting, corking, and sniffing as 3,302 entries await their evaluation.