AMPI Tops NMPF Cheese Contest With Hand-Crafted Parmesan Entry

Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) of Hoven, SD, earned the Chairman’s Plaque here this week at the 2019 National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) Championship Cheese Contest.

AMPI’s winning Hand-Crafted Parmesan entry earned a score of 99.20 in the Hard & Mold Ripened Cheese category.

“Making award-worthy cheese is the daily standard at AMPI,” said Kevin Hageman, a long-time Hard Italian-style cheese maker who manages the Hoven plant where the champion Parmesan was made.

AMPI’s Hoven plant specializes in making 22-pound wheels of Parmesan, Asiago and Romano.

AMPI’s Hand-Crafted Parmesan also won the award for Best Italian Cheese, and top honors for Best Cheddar went to Agri-Mark, Inc. of Middlebury, VT.

Ryan Stetzel of Prairie Farms Dairy, Fort Wayne, IN, won the award for Best Cottage Cheese with a Garden Veggie entry – Prairie Farms’ third consecutive Best Cottage Cheese win.

The contest was held in conjunction with the joint annual meeting of NMPF, National Dairy Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA). Winners in each of the 19 contest classes are as follows:

Mild Cheddar
First place: Tim Karr, Dairy Farmers of America, Pavilion, NY, 99.50
Second place: Middlebury Team, Agri-Mark, Middlebury, VT, 99.40
Third place: Agri-Mark, Chateaugay, NY, 99.30

Medium Cheddar
First place: Team 2, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, OR, 99.00
Second place: Team Cabot, Agri-Mark, Inc., Cabot, VT 98.75
Third place: Blair Cheese Floor, AMPI, Blair, WI, 98.70

Sharp Cheddar
First place: Agri-Mark, Middlebury, VT, 99.50
Second place: Cabot Team, Agri-Mark, Cabot, VT, 99.00
Third place: Doug Snortheim, Foremost Farms USA, Marshfield, WI, 96.50

Extra Sharp Cheddar
First place: Agri-Mark, Middlebury, VT, 99.50
Second: Team 2, TCCA, 98.50
Third place: Team 4, TCCA, Cape Meares, 98.00

Mozzarella
First place: Jay Thomas, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Campbell, NY, 98.50
Second: Heather Stalbird, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, 98.00
Third place: Fran Holmes, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Campbell, NY, Ciliegine, 97.90

Provolone
First place: Mark Forester, Foremost Farms, Clayton, WI, 98.90
Second: Team D, Foremost Farms, Appleton, WI, Smoked, 98.80
Third place: Mike Breznak, DFA, New Wilmington, PA, Mild, 98.60

Hard & Mold Ripened Italian
First place: AMPI, Hoven, SD, Hand Crafted Parmesan, 99.20
Second: Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., Faribault, MN, St. Pete’s Select Blue, 99.00
Third place: Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., Faribault, MN, AmaGorg, 98.75

Natural
First place: Team 1, TCCA, Colby Jack, 99.50
Second: Bill Stocker, Midwest Dairymen’s Company, Shullsburg, WI, Colby Jack Longhorn, 99.00
Third: Tillamook Team 2, TCCA, Tillamook, Monterey Jack, 98.50

Swiss
First place: Prairie Farms Dairy, Shullsburg, WI, Baby Swiss, 98.00
Second place: Bruce Workman, Select Milk Producers, Inc., Monticello, WI, Sweet Swiss, 97.50
Third place: Prairie Farms Dairy, Luana, IA, Swiss, 97.00

Plain Processed American
First: AMPI, Portage, WI, Colored Slice-On-Slice, 99.25
Second: Team Wohlt, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, New London, WI, Swiss American, 99.00
Third place: AMPI, Portage, WI, Swiss Slice-On-Slice, 98.75

Flavored Processed American
First place: Jorge Espinoza, Bongards’ Creameries, Norwood, MN, Peppers Slice-On-Slice, 99.00
Second place: Team Wohlt, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Swiss Onion Blend, 98.50
Third: AMPI, Portage, WI, Monterey Jack & American with Red Bell and Jalapeno Peppers, 98.25

Hot Or Spicy Flavor
First: Bruce Workman, Select Milk Producers, Inc., Monticello, WI, Habanero Havarti, 99.50
Second place: Ellsworth Creamery, Comstock, WI, Ghost Pepper Monterey Jack, 99.30
Third place: First District Association, Litchfield, MN, Cheddar with Red Peppers, 99.10

Unique Or Mild Flavor
First place: Bill Stocker, Midwest Dairymen’s Company, Buffalo Cheddar, 97.50
Second place: Team 1, TCCA, Trask Mountain, 97.00
Third: Bill Stocker, Midwest Dairymen’s, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Pepper Cheddar, 96.10

Open Class
First place: Ann White, Upstate Niagara Co-op, Campbell, NY, Whole Milk Ricotta, 99.60
Second: Justin Riesman, Upstate Niagara Co-op, Ricotone, 99.30
Third place: Prairie Farms Dairy, Luana, IA, Cream Cheese, 99.20

Reduced Fat
First place: Troy Kittleson, Foremost Farms, Clayton, WI, 97.50
Second: Team Cabot, Agri-Mark, Cabot, VT, 97.00

Cottage Cheese
First: Rory Hundly, Prairie Farms Dairy, Carbondale, IL, 99.60
Second: Bison, Upstate Niagara Co-op, West Seneca, NY, 99.50
Third place: Quincy Team, Prairie Farms Dairy, Quincy, IL, 4%, 99.40

Reduced Fat Cottage Cheese
First place: Rory Hundly, Prairie Farms Dairy, Carbondale, IL, 99.50
Second place: Prairie Farms Dairy, Quincy, IL, 99.40
Third: Ryan Stetzel, Prairie Farms Dairy, Fort Wayne, IN, 99.30

Flavored Cottage Cheese
First: Ryan Stetzel, Prairie Farms Dairy, Fort Wayne, IN, Garden Veggie, 99.50
Second: Ryan Stetzel, Prairie Farms Dairy, Peach, 99.40
Third place: Ryan Stetzel, Prairie Farms Dairy, Fort Wayne, IN, Pineapple, 99.30

Natural Cheese Snack
First place: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth, WI, Cajun Cheddar Cheese Curds, 99.80
Second place: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth, WI, Hickory Bacon Cheddar Cheese Curds, 99.70
Third place: Cut & Wrap Team, Agri-Mark, Cabot, VT, Extra Sharp Cracker Cut.
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