Internationally Renowned Judging Team to Evaluate Over 2,900 Entries...

Posted By: Grace Atherton WCMA News ,

Less than a month remains until dozens of highly qualified judges from around the world gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest. From March 1-3, the group of 53 international experts will evaluate 2,919 dairy product entries, selecting the best in each class - and the 2022 World Champion.

This year’s judging team includes cheese graders, cheese buyers, dairy science professors, and researchers with more than 700 combined years of experience in the dairy processing industry. They hail from 16 countries and 13 U.S. states. They are:

  • Gabriele Arlotti, CheeseItaly, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Francisco de Asis Ruiz Morales, Centro IFAPA – Camino de Purchil, Andalucía, Spain
  • Maarten Bakker, Royal FrieslandCampina, the Netherlands
  • Kirk Baldwin, Valley Queen Cheese, South Dakota, USA
  • Marc Bates, Bates Consulting LLC, Oregon, USA
  • Larry Bell, LBell Consulting LLC, Wisconsin, USA
  • Kimberlee Burrington, ADPI, Wisconsin, USA
  • Dominique Delugeau, Saputo Cheese USA, Wisconsin, USA
  • MaryAnne Drake, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center at North Carolina State University, North Carolina, USA
  • Todd Druhot, Gourmet Foods International, Georgia, USA
  • Nana Farkye, California Polytechnic State University, California, USA
  • Jessica Fernandez Lopez, Lactography, Mexico
  • Mucio Furtado, IFF, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Chad Galer, Dairy Management Inc., Illinois, USA
  • Craig Gile, Cabot Creamery, Vermont, USA
  • Glenn Hatcher, Pacific Cheese, Oklahoma, USA
  • Enda Howley, Ornua, Ireland
  • Kory Hyvonen, Oshkosh Cold Storage, Wisconsin, USA
  • John Jaeggi, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Gerrit Jansen, FrieslandCampina, Drenthe, the Netherlands
  • Luis Jiménez-Maroto, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Andy Johnson, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Mark Johnson, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Aileen Kacvinsky, Schuman Cheese Inc., Wisconsin, USA
  • Samir Kalit, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Kerry Kaylegian, Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Greg Kinate, Winona Foods, Wisconsin, USA
  • Drew Kordus, Great Lakes Cheese, Wisconsin, USA
  • Susan Larson, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Terry Lensmire, Lensmire Dairy Consulting, Wisconsin, USA
  • Arnoldo Lopez-Hernandez, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mexico
  • Thierry Martin, Agropur, Quebec, Canada
  • Christophe Megevand, Schuman Cheese, New Jersey, USA
  • Virgil Metzger, Potrue Graphics, Illinois, USA
  • Lloyd Metzger, Valley Queen Cheese, South Dakota, USA
  • Per Olesen, St. Clemens Food Products, Denmark
  • Michael Pederson; Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Wisconsin; USA
  • Miguel Rolo, Busqui Cheese Molds, Portugal
  • Giuseppe Rostiti, Biochem s.r.l., Lombardy, Italy
  • Roland Sahli, Gourmino AG, Bern, Switzerland
  • David Satterness, Chr. Hansen Inc. (Retired), South Dakota, USA
  • Christian Schmutz, FROMARTE, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Franco Sessa, Whitestone Cheese, New Zealand
  • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia, New South Wales, Australia
  • Marianne Smukowski, Wisconsin, USA
  • Dean Sommer, Center for Dairy Research, Wisconsin, USA
  • Cathy Strange, Whole Foods Market, Texas, USA
  • Ernesto Toalombo, Proyectalimentos Cía. Ltda., Pichincha, Ecuador
  • Don Tribby, IFF, Missouri, USA
  • Stefan Truttman, FROMARTE, Uri, Switzerland
  • Eric Vorpahl, Masters Gallery Foods, Wisconsin, USA
  • David Wentz, Sargento Foods Inc., Wisconsin, USA
  • Matt Zimbric, Foremost Farms USA, Wisconsin, USA

“The skill, expertise, and knowledge of our Contest judges are part of what make this competition so unique,” said Kirsten Strohmenger of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, host of the biennial event. “Their precise, rigorous evaluation adds meaning and value to the golden Contest seal consumers see on the store shelf, helping to boost sales and drive interest in the winning companies.”

Under the leadership of Chief Judge Jim Mueller, Chief Judges Emeritus Bill Schlinsog and Bob Aschebrock, and Assistant Chief Judges Tim Czmowski, Stan Dietsche, Josef Hubatschek, Mariana Marques de Almeida, and Sandy Toney, the judges will calculate a precise score for each cheese, butter product, yogurt, and dry dairy ingredient entered in the Contest. Products are evaluated on a variety of attributes including flavor, body, texture, salt, color, finish, packaging, and others.

Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the three highest scoring entries in each of this year’s 141 distinct classes. The World Champion Cheese will be announced live online at WorldChampionCheese.org at 2:00 p.m. (CT) Thursday, March 3.