WCMA Recognizes Contest Leaders with Awards

Posted By: Rebekah Sweeney WCMA News,

On Wednesday, March 6, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, host of the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, honored Steve Krause, John Jaeggi, and John Umhoefer for their work to support and grow the contest, with awards named for longtime contest leaders.

“Our Championship Cheese Contests are supported by the tireless effort and ongoing enthusiasm of judges and volunteers,” said Kirsten Strohmenger, WCMA Events Manager.  “Those people and their time, talent, and effort have made our Contests successful in every way, and we thank them.”

The Eggebrecht Award

The Eggebrecht Award, named for Contest Committee Chairman and “B-Team” founder Brian Eggebrecht of Welcome Dairy, was given to Steve Krause, a 25-year Contest volunteer known for his energy, positivity, and hard work ethic.

Before retiring, Krause worked in the cheese industry for more than 50 years, starting as a third-generation cheesemaker at Krause Dairy in Morgan, Wisconsin and later serving as a trusted supplier partner to the industry in his role at Tosca, Ltd. 

The Aschebrock Award

The Aschebrock Award, named for Contest Chief Judge Emeritus Bob Aschebrock, a long-time USDA dairy grader, was presented to John Jaeggi who has served as a Contest judge for more than a decade and is appreciated for his comprehensive cheese knowledge, thorough evaluations, and mentorship of new judges.

Jaeggi works as Cheese Industry & Applications Coordinator at the Center for Dairy Research.

The Schlinsog Award

The Schlinsog Award, named for Contest Chief Judge Emeritus Bill Schlinsog, was given to John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.  In John’s 27-year tenure leading the events, both Championship Cheese Contests have grown by leaps and bounds.  In 1992, the World Championship Cheese Contest had just 498 entries, while last year’s competition included 3,402 dairy products.  In 1993, the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest had just 340 entries, but this year, entries totaled 2,555.  The Contest has also expanded consumer knowledge of quality cheese, and propelled winners into newfound success in the national and global marketplace.