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Vermont Cheesemakers Win Best of Show at American Cheese Society Competition

www.vtcheese.com

Randolph, VT, (July 27, 2018):  The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), an organization dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont Cheese, announced that 13 Vermont cheesemakers took home 36 ribbons at the 35th Annual American Cheese Society competition in Pittsburgh, PA on Friday evening.  Two Vermont cheeses were honored as Best of Show. Both winners were from Jasper Hill Farm including a first- place win for Harbison and a second-place for Calderwood from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT. 

 The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas.  Since its founding in 1983, ACS hosts North America’s foremost annual cheese-based educational conference, and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. This year’s competition included 2024entries from across North America.  This year's event titled "Forged in Cheese" was located in Pittsburgh, PA.  The conference alternates each year between coasts and the middle of the country.  Next year's event will take place in Richmond, VA on July 31- August 3.

Twenty Vermont cheesemakers submitted cheeses for judging at the prestigious competition this year, due in part to the VCC’s program for ACS entry fee reimbursement. The VCC reimburses fees for two Vermont cheesemakers’ ACS entry fees to support their efforts in showcasing their cheese in a competitive setting. This year, there were 2024 cheeses from around the US in the competition. All competitors are given judging notes for their products which are helpful in evaluating the cheeses and in some cases, improving the quality of production of cheeses.  The VCC finds this aspect of the competition an invaluable educational tool for its members.

Winning Cheeses from Vermont

  • Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT: Harbison, First Place, Best in Show;
  • Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT: Calderwood, Second Place for Best in Show;

Other winners included:

  • Boston Post Dairy, Enosburg Falls: Greek Style Feta, 1st place, and Tres Bonne Reserve, 3rd Place;
  • Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, VT, MA: Cabot Sour Cream, 1st place, and Old School Cheddar, 3rd Place;
  • Cate Hill Orchard, Craftsbury Commons, VT: Wild Mountain Tomme, 3rd place (this is a first time competitor at the ACS Competition;)
  • Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet, VT: Slyboro, 1st place; Goatlet, first place with Crown Finish Caves, Pawlet,2nd place; and Manchester, 2nd place;
  • Grafton Village Cheese Company, Grafton, VT: Shepsog, 3rd Place, and Bear Hill, 2nd place;
  • Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT: Harbison, 1st place in Category and 1st place in Best of Show, Bayley Hazen Blue, 1st place, Calderwood, 1st place, and Willoughby, 3rd place;
  • Maplebrook Farm, Bennington, VT: Whole Milk Block Feta, 2nd place;
  • Parish Hill Creamery, West Westminster, VT: Reverie, 1st place and Vermont Herdsman, 2nd place;
  • Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Plymouth, VT: Ballyhoo Brie, 2nd place
  • Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT: 6 Month Cheddar, 1st Place
  • Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids Foundation, Reading, VT: Reading Raclette, 1st place, Tarentaise Reserve, 1st place, Tarentaise, 1st place, and Ashbrook, 2nd place;
  • Vermont Creamery, Websterville: Bonne Bouche, 1st place; Cultured Butter with Sea Salt, 1st place, Fromage Blanc, 1st place, Bijou, 2nd place, Coupole, 3rd place, Quark, 3rd place, and 1916 with Wegmans Market Affinage Program, 1st place;
  • Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, Woodstock, VT: Lille Colummiers Bebe, 1st place, Cothbound Windsordale, 2nd Place, and Governors Cheddar, 3rd place.

For a comprehensive list of the 2018 American Cheese Society winners, visit CheeseJudging.org.

The state of Vermont, celebrated for its focus on family agriculture, small farms, and Vermont-made products, including cheese, boasts more cheese companies per capita than any other state in the nation- close to 1 cheesemaker for 13,000 people.  There are currently 48 members of the Vermont Cheese Council making over 225 varieties of cheese.  Cheesemakers range in size from producers for local farmers markets to producers selling in regional, national and international markets.  Cheesemaking represents 700 million dollars in revenue for Vermont companies.

The 2017 ACS competition saw 13 Vermont cheesemakers awarded 41 ribbons, including top-ranking Best of Show ribbons for Spring Brook Farm’s “Tarentaise Reserve,” located in Reading, VT., and a third-place Best of Show for “Harbison” made by Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT.  Harbison moved up in 2018 to Best in Show first-place winner. 

The Vermont Cheese Council is a statewide membership-based organization with 48 principal cheese- producing members and over 20 associate members.  The VCC is committed to promoting the advancement and quality of Vermont cheese through promotion, education and strong peer to peer support.  The organization has been in existence since 1992. For more information, please contact: Tom Bivins, Executive Director at tom@vtcheese.com or call 802-451-8564 or visit the Vermont Cheese Council website at www.vtcheese.com.