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A Medium Cheddar produced by Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) in Blair, Wis., has been named the best in its class and second runner-up overall in the 2023 United States Championship Cheese Contest. AMPI was further distinguished as the only dairy farmer-owned company to have two entries named to the elite group of top 20 finishers revealed this week.
AMPI’s entries topped nearly 2,250 contenders from 197 companies and cooperatives across 35 U.S. states in the biennial competition hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. This is the first time AMPI has achieved the honor of having two cheeses named to the final group in the same year, said Mike Wolkow, senior vice president of operations.
The second AMPI-made cheese in the top 20 is a Ghost Pepper Jack, a spicy cheese produced by cheesemakers working at AMPI’s Jim Falls, Wis., facility.
Mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack made at the co-op’s plant in Sanborn, Iowa, are featured in the first-place shredded cheese blend entry. The blend was cut and packaged at AMPI’s Portage, Wis., facility.
“The dedication of our dairy farm families and cheesemakers — and all of the team members in between — ensures consistent championship-caliber cheese that we are proud to deliver to our customers in the U.S. and around the globe,” Wolkow said.