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USDA ag projections forecast U.S. global competitiveness

March 15, 2019

WASHINGTON— USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist this week released “USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028,” which provides projections for the U.S. agricultural sector over the next decade. The report notes that while a relatively strong U.S. dollar is expected to dampen growth in U.S. ag exports, the United States is expected to remain competitive in global agricultural markets, in part due to efficiency and quality margins.

The report says net farm income is expected to increase just more than $8 billion in 2019 to just more than $77.5 billion and remain relatively steady, fluctuating between $75 and $80 billion for the remainder of the decade.

Over the next several years, the agricultural sector will continue to adjust to the ongoing China-U.S. trade dispute (which is assumed to last the duration of the projection period), the report notes. This results in an expected shift away from soybean production in the United States due to lower prices and toward corn and wheat, which are expected to generate relatively higher returns.

Strong global demand will support relatively stable total planted acreage for the major U.S. crops despite the shift from soybeans, the report says. As markets are developed in other parts of the world, it is expected that the demand for U.S. soybeans will eventually strengthen over time.

In the livestock sector, relatively low feed costs are expected to continue to provide economic incentives for expansion, the report adds.

Developments for global agriculture and U.S. trade reflect income growth in developing countries and a relatively strong U.S. dollar over the coming decade, with steady world economic growth and continued global demand for biofuel feedstocks expected throughout, the report notes. Those factors combine to support longer-run increases in the disappearance, trade and prices of agricultural products.

According to the report, global real economic growth is projected to average roughly 2.8 percent annually over the next decade. The United States is expected to have among the highest growth of the developed countries, averaging approximately 2.0 percent annually, while developed countries as a group are expected to experience an average of 1.6 percent annual growth. Meanwhile, growth in the developing countries continues to rise from the 2016 low of 3.7 percent over the first half of the coming decade, and is expected to drop in the second half, averaging just under 4.5 percent annual growth overall, the report says.

While the United States will be among the growth leaders of the developed world, stronger growth in developing economies will cause the U.S. share of global gross domestic product (GDP) to fall slowly over the next 10 years, the report adds. Steady global economic growth supports longer-term gains in world food demand, global agricultural trade and U.S. agricultural exports.

The United States will remain among the most competitive agricultural exporters, the report says. However, slowing global economic growth rates and a relatively strong dollar are expected to weigh on growth in U.S. agricultural exports over the projection period. The projections suggest that developing countries will continue to account for most of the growth in U.S. agricultural exports due to their economic and population growth, which boosts global demand as incomes rise. The notable exception is China, historically one of the main drivers of demand for some of the U.S. exports, but whose imports of U.S. agricultural goods are now severely limited due to the trade tariffs currently in place. Improved economic conditions in developed country markets will provide additional stimulus to global demand.

The report projects U.S. milk production will reach 221.4 billion pounds in 2019, up from 218.1 billion pounds in 2018. Production trends higher throughout the projection period, forecasted at 225.3 billion pounds in 2020 (a leap year), 231.0 billion pounds in 2022 and 251.1 billion pounds in 2028 (also a leap year). The number of milk cows also increases throughout the projection period, from 9.41 million head in 2019 to 9.43 million head in 2022 and 9.47 million head in 2028.

The report forecasts cheese prices to average $1.62 per pound in 2019, up from $1.57 in 2018. Cheese prices are projected to steadily increase, averaging $1.79 by 2028.

However, butter, nonfat dry milk (NDM) and dry whey prices show initial declines over the projection period, following increases in the 2018-2019 comparison. Butter is forecasted to average $2.27 per pound in 2019 and remain flat for 2020 before declining to $2.24 in 2021. Butter than rises steadily throughout the projection period to average $2.60 in 2028.

NDM is projected to decline to $0.85 per pound in 2020 from $0.86 in 2019, then steadily increase to average $1.09 in 2028. Dry whey also declines from its $0.40 level in 2019 to $0.35 for the bulk of the next decade before rising to $0.36 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the all-milk price is projected to average $17.30 per hundredweight in 2019, the report shows. The all-milk price is forecast to steadily increase over the next decade to reach $19.65 in 2028.

To download the report, visit www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/projections/.

CMN


U.S. cheese production rose 0.4 percent in January 2019

March 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 1.100 billion pounds in January, 0.4 percent above January 2018’s 1.097 billion pounds and 0.7 percent higher than December 2018’s 1.093 billion pounds, according to preliminary data released Thursday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Dairy Production chart.)

Italian-type cheese production was 480.7 million pounds in January, up 1.3 percent from January 2018. Production of Mozzarella, the largest component of Italian-type production and the nation’s most-produced cheese, was up 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 379.3 million pounds.

American-type cheese production totaled 438.7 million pounds in January, up 1.2 percent from January 2018. Production of Cheddar, the largest component of American-type production, totaled 322.6 million pounds, a 1.4-percent increase from a year earlier.

Wisconsin led the nation’s cheese production in January with 278.7 million pounds, down 4.0 percent from a year earlier. California followed with 214.0 million pounds, down 1.3 percent from January 2018.

Total U.S. butter production was 189.8 million pounds, 4.2 percent above January 2018 but 10.4 percent above December 2018’s 171.9 million pounds. California, the nation’s leading butter-making state, saw production decline 2.1 percent in the January-to-January comparison to 52.8 million pounds.

Total U.S. nonfat dry milk (NDM) production was 172.6 million pounds in January, up 7.7 percent from January 2018’s 160.3 million pounds and up 21.0 percent from 142.7 million pounds in December 2018. California led NDM production with 65.8 million pounds in January, up 13.7 percent from a year earlier.

CMN


USDA announces DGAC meeting, launches new MyPlate initiative

March 15, 2019

WASHINGTON— USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week announced the first meeting of the newly appointed 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will be held March 28-29 at USDA offices in Washington, D.C. The public comment period for updates to the Dietary Guidelines also opened this week and will remain open until early 2020.

The committee members have expertise in topics that the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will address, such as dietary patterns, added sugars, saturated fat, obesity, chronic disease, pregnancy and early childhood. The members will review the scientific evidence on these topics and provide a report to USDA and HHS that will help to inform the departments’ decisions, along with public and agency comments, on updates or changes.

Meanwhile, in a continuing effort to help Americans make healthy food choices, and in honor of National Nutrition Month, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue this week also announced a new campaign to help simplify the nutrition information that surrounds consumers each day.

“Start Simple with MyPlate” is a new initiative to reduce confusion surrounding healthy eating and help people start with the basics. The campaign provides ideas and tips from the five MyPlate food groups that Americans can incorporate into their lives to help improve their health and well-being over time.

USDA recommends people visit www.choosemyplate.gov/StartSimple to get started with tips on the MyPlate food groups, or to use a variety of resources to put these tips into action. Online resources include the MyPlate Plan and widget, a tip sheet, the MyPlate Action Guide, a one-week menu template, as well as a toolkit for nutrition professionals.

USDA also invites Americans to join the #MyPlateChallenge by sharing healthy eating tips or ideas related to the five MyPlate food groups. People can post a MyPlate-inspired healthy eating tip with a photo or video and share it on social media. Once they post their healthy eating tip, people can challenge a family member, friend or co-worker to share their own tip.

For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov/StartSimpleChallenge.

CMN




Shullsburg Creamery seeks to set itself apart with quality, tradition

By Kate Sander

SHULLSBURG, Wis. — Shullsburg Creamery is at the top of its game, with high-quality new products and an increased emphasis on finding just the right partners with which to do business, says Scott Stocker, Shullsburg Creamery CEO.

“We’re producing some of the most wonderful cheeses I’ve seen in my career,” Stocker says.

Stocker’s brother, Bill Stocker, is head cheesemaker and plant manager, and he was instrumental in the design of the 8,700-square-foot plant that went online in August 2015. The plant, which features traditional equipment best suited for small batch cheesemaking, has the capacity to make about 80,000 pounds of cheese weekly, first shift.

Bill Stocker has been making cheese his entire career, and his expertise as well as the capabilities of the plant enable Shullsburg Creamery to try different flavors and different cultures.

One of the areas on which Shullsburg Creamery puts special focus is manufacturing traditional cheeses, particularly those known in the Midwest, that are of the highest quality, Scott Stocker says.

“High automation is a double-edged sword,” Scott Stocker says. “Automation is the logical next step, but automation can limit quality and variety.”

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Guggisberg Swiss wins U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

March 8, 2019

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Baby Swiss Wheel made by Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, won the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, beating out a record-setting 2,555 cheese entries from 35 states.

The Baby Swiss earned a score of 98.54 out of 100 in yesterday’s championship round. This is the second time in four years that Guggisberg Cheese has won the U.S. Championship title. The company also won the contest in 2015 with its Premium Swiss traditional-style wheel.

“Guggisberg Cheese has found a recipe for success with Swiss cheeses, and our distinguished judges were impressed with the quality of the company’s Baby Swiss entry this year,” says John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the contest. “We congratulate Guggisberg Cheese, as we salute all the cheesemakers who earned medals in the competition.”

Marieke Gouda of Thorp, Wisconsin, claimed both first and second runner-up positions. Marieke Gouda Premium, aged 18-24 months, was first runner-up with a score of 98.41, and Marieke Gouda Overjarige was second runner-up with a score of 98.39.

A team of 60 judges from 20 states scored entries on a 100-point scale during the two-day competition in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated the competition with gold medals in 60 of the 116 contest classes and sweeping all three medals in 25 classes. New York cheesemakers earned nine gold medals, while cheesemakers in California and Idaho earned six each.

The top 20 cheeses that reached the championship round of judging include: Medium Cheddar and Extra Sharp Cheddar made by Cabot Creamery Cooperative; English Hollow Cheddar and Smoked Traditional Gouda made by Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc; Top Hat English Truckle Cheddar made by Door Artisan Cheese Co. LLC; Baby Swiss Wheel made by Guggisberg Cheese; Muenster made by Decatur Dairy Inc.; Gorgonzola made by Great Lakes Cheese; Europea made by Arethusa Farm Dairy; Marieke Gouda Overjarige and Marieke Gouda Premium made by Marieke Gouda; Roth Pavino Cheese and Roth Grand Cru Reserve Block made by Emmi Roth; Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano made by Sartori Co.; Smoked Burrata made by Calabro Cheese Corp.; Bijou made by Vermont Creamery; Goat Cheddar, Ewereka and Seascape made by Central Coast Creamery; and The Creamery Collection Batch #17 made by The Farm at Doe Run.

The three top-scoring entries in each category were:

• Cheddar, Mild (0 to 3 months)

First: David Lindgren, Lynn Dairy Inc., Granton, Wisconsin, Mild Cheddar, 98.55

Second: Team Jim Falls, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Jim Falls, Wisconsin, White Cheddar, 98.25

Third: Team Meister 2, Meister Cheese Co., Muscoda, Wisconsin, Mild Cheddar, 98.20

• Cheddar, Medium (3 to 6 months)

First: Team Cabot, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, Medium Cheddar, 99.65

Second: AMPI-Blair Team 1, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Blair, Wisconsin, Medium Cheddar, 98.75

Third: Timothy Stearns, Agropur, Weyauwega, Wisconsin, Cheddar Cheese, 98.60

• Cheddar, Sharp (6 months to 1 year)

First: Dan Stearns, Agropur, Weyauwega, Wisconsin, Cheddar, 99.40

Second: Team Chateaugay, McCadam Cheese, Chateaugay, New York, Sharp Cheddar, 99.15

Third: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook Cheddar, 99.05

• Cheddar Aged 1-2 Years

First: Team Middlebury, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Middlebury, Vermont, Extra Sharp Cheddar, 99.30

Second: Team Cabot, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, Extra Sharp Cheddar, 98.75

Third: Team 1, Agropur, Jerome, Idaho, Aged Cheddar, 98.70

• Cheddar Aged 2 Years or Longer

First: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook Cheddar, 98.60

Second: Kiel Production Team, Land O’Lakes Inc., Kiel, Wisconsin, Aged - Over 2 Years, 97.95

Third: Manufactured by Land O’Lakes Kiel, entered by Masters Gallery Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Land O’Lakes Aged Cheddar, 97.70

• Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Mild to Medium

First: Maple Leaf Cheesemaking Team, Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc., Monroe, Wisconsin, English Hollow Cheddar, 99.35

Second: Scott Rivers, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Bandaged Cheddar Medium, 99.10

Third: Wayne Hintz, Red Barn Family Farms, Appleton, Wisconsin, Weis Cheddar Cheese, 98.95

• Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Sharp to Aged

First: Artisan Cheese Exchange, Henning Cheese, Kiel, Wisconsin, Deer Creek The King, 99.15

Second: Kerry Henning, Henning Cheese, Kiel, Wisconsin, 2-year-old Cheddar, 98.85

Third: Wayne Hintz, Springside Cheese, Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, Aged Cheddar, 98.60

• Natural Rinded Cheddar

First: Sara Richards, Door Artisan Cheese Co. LLC, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, Top Hat English Truckle Cheddar, 99.55

Second: GVC Cheesemakers, Grafton Village Cheese, Brattleboro, Vermont, Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar, 98.90

Third: Cabot Creamery, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vermont, Cave Aged Cheddar, 98.75

• Colby

First: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Colby, 99.50

Second: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Colby, 99.40

Third: Team 2 Arena, Arena Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Colby Deli Longhorn, 99.30

• Monterey Jack

First: Carlos Tanilo, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, 98.75

Second: Team Meister 4, Meister Cheese Co., Muscoda, Wisconsin, 98.65

Third: Sabahudin Fehratovic, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, 98.50

• Marbled Curd Cheese

First: Bill Stocker, Shullsburg Creamery II LLC, Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Colby Jack Longhorn, 99.75

Second: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Cheddar Jack, 99.40

Third: Bill Stocker, Shullsburg Creamery II LLC, Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Colby Jack Mini Horn, 99.35

• Swiss Style Cheese

First: Team Guggisberg Sugarcreek, Guggisberg Cheese, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 200-pound Swiss Block, 99.30

Second: Team Guggisberg Sugarcreek, Guggisberg Cheese, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 200-pound Swiss Block, 98.80

Third: Team Guggisberg Millersburg, Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, 75-pound Swiss Wheel Medium, 98.65

• Baby Swiss Style

First: Team Guggisberg Doughty Valley, Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, Baby Swiss Wheel, 99.15

Second: Nathan Drews, Chalet Cheese Co-op/Deppeler, Monroe, Wisconsin, 22-pound Baby Swiss Wheel, 98.60

Third: Penn Dairy, Winfield, Pennsylvania, Baby Swiss Block, 98.50

• Mozzarella

First: Team 2, Upstate Farms Cheese, Campbell, New York, Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese Balls, 99.65

Second: Team 1, Upstate Farms Cheese, Campbell, New York, Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese Balls, 99.50

Third: Pennland Pure, Hancock, Maryland, Mozzarella, 99.40

• Mozzarella, Part Skim

First: Crave Brothers Team, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, Waterloo, Wisconsin, 1-pound Part Skim Mozzarella Ball, 98.00

Second: Cuba Team Two, Empire Cheese Inc., Cuba, New York, Part Skim, 97.90

Third: Team Chilton, Foremost Farms USA, Chilton, Wisconsin, Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella, 97.85

• Fresh Mozzarella

First: Crave Brothers Team, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, Waterloo, Wisconsin, Fresh Mozzarella, 99.30

Second: Crave Brothers Team, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, Waterloo, Wisconsin, Fresh Mozzarella, 99.25

Third: Team Aguas, Caputo Cheese, Melrose Park, Illinois, Nodini, 99.20

• Burrata

First: Di Stefano Cheese, Pomona, California, 99.45

Second: Narragansett Creamery, Providence, Rhode Island, 99.35

Third: Team Aguas, Caputo Cheese, Melrose Park, Illinois, 99.30

• Provolone, Mild

First: Pat Doell, Agropur, Luxemburg, Wisconsin, 99.50

Second: Roger Krohn, Agropur, Luxemburg, Wisconsin, 99.25

Third: Dairy Farmers of America, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, 99.10

• Provolone, Aged

First: Kevin Benzel, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, BelGioioso Aged Provolone Mandarini, 98.65

Second: Cuba Team Two, Empire Cheese Inc., Cuba, New York, Aged Provolone, 97.85

Third: Cuba Team One, Empire Cheese Inc., Cuba, New York, Aged Provolone, 97.70

• Smoked Provolone

First: Cuba Team One, Empire Cheese Inc., Cuba, New York, 99.50

Second: Cuba Team Three, Empire Cheese Inc., Cuba, New York, 99.40

Third: Team Chilton, Foremost Farms USA, Chilton, Wisconsin, 99.30

• Parmesan

First: Tim Dudek, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, BelGioioso Parmesan, 99.20

Second: Lake Country Dairy Team, Lake Country Dairy, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, Cello Copper Kettle Cheese, 99.15

Third: Lake Country Dairy Team, Lake Country Dairy, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, Cello Parmesan Wheel, 99.05

• Fresh Asiago

First: Eau Galle Cheese Team, Eau Galle Cheese Factory Inc., Durand, Wisconsin, Asiago, 99.45

Second: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Southwest Asiago, 99.40

Third: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Southwest Asiago, 98.95

• Aged Asiago

First: Eau Galle Cheese Team, Eau Galle Cheese Factory Inc., Durand, Wisconsin, Aged Asiago, 99.25

Second: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Classic Asiago, 99.15

Third: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Reserve Extra-Aged Asiago, 98.60

• Feta

First: Steve Webster, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Feta, 99.20

Second: Ron Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Feta, 99.15

Third: Steve Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Feta, 99.10

• Feta, Flavored

First: Micah Klug, Agropur, Weyauwega, Wisconsin, Mediterranean Feta, 99.25

Second: Team Nasonville Dairy, Nasonville Dairy Inc., Marshfield, Wisconsin, Cucumber Lemon Feta Crumbles, 99.20.

Third: Micah Klug, Agropur, Weyauwega, Wisconsin, Feta Cheese with Peppercorn, 99.15

• Brick & Muenster

First: Matt Henze, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Wisconsin, Muenster, 99.50

Second: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Brick, 99.40

Third: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Muenster, 99.35

• Havarti

First: Decatur Cheesemakers, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Wisconsin, Havarti, 99.45

Second: Ron Bechtolt, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Buholzer Brothers Havarti, 99.30

Third: Bruce Workman, Fair Oaks Farm, Fair Oaks, Indiana, Havarti, 99.20

• Havarti, Flavored

First: Ben Workman, Edelweiss Creamery, Monticello, Wisconsin, Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Havarti, 99.10

Second: Steve Stettler, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Wisconsin, Havarti with Dill, 99.00

Third: Decatur Cheesemakers, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Wisconsin, Havarti Dill, 98.95

• String Cheese

First: Heydi Luis, Cesar’s Cheese LLC, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, Whole Milk, Hand Stretched, Batch 3, 99.65

Second: Cesar Luis & Team Gibbsville, Cesar’s Cheese LLC, Gibbsville, Wisconsin, Whole Milk, Hand Stretched, Batch 1, 99.60

Third: Rizo Lopez Foods Inc., Modesto, California, Oaxaca Tiras, 99.45

• Flavored String Cheese

First: Products Team, Ponderosa Dairy Products, Kewaunee, Wisconsin, Fiesta String Cheese, 99.55

Second: Shawn Brown, Baker Cheese Factory Inc., St. Cloud, Wisconsin, Jalapeno Peppers, 99.50

Third: Larry Brown, Baker Cheese Factory Inc., St. Cloud, Wisconsin, Jalapeno Peppers, 99.45

• Cottage Cheese

First: Cottage Team, Westby Co-op Creamery, Westby, Wisconsin, 4-percent Large Curd Cottage Cheese, 99.05

Second: Tori Boomgaarden, Kemps, Farmington, Minnesota, Cottage Cheese Singles- Pineapple, 98.85.

Third: Team Cultured, Cabot Creamery, Cabot, Vermont, Cottage Cheese, 98.80

• Ricotta

First: Team Salazar, Caputo Cheese, Melrose Park, Illinois, Ricotta Red, 99.40

Second: Team 1, Upstate Farms Cheese, Campbell, New York, Clean Deck Whole Milk Ricotta, 99.25

Third: Team Calabro, Calabro Cheese Corp., East Haven, Connecticut, Hand Dipped Ricotta, 99.05.

• Gorgonzola

First: Team Seymour, Great Lakes Cheese Inc., Seymour, Wisconsin, Gorgonzola, 99.35

Second: Team Seymour, Great Lakes Cheese Inc., Seymour, Wisconsin, Gorgonzola, 99.15

Third: Joe Moreda Jr. and Team, Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery, Valley Ford, California, Grazin Girl, 98.75

• Blue Veined Cheeses with Exterior Molding

First: Jasper Hill Farm, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vermont, Bayley Hazen Blue, 98.90

Second: Calyroad Creamery, Sandy Springs, Georgia, Bit O’ Blue, 98.35

Third: Chris Roelli, Roelli Cheese Co., Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Red Rock, 98.30

• Blue Veined Cheeses

First: Kuba Hemmerling & Team, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Point Reyes, California, Point Reyes Original Blue, 97.70

Second: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Penta Creme, 97.65

Third: Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms-Caves of Faribault, Faribault, Minnesota, St.. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese, 97.10

• Brie & Camembert

First: Lactalis USA, Belmont, Wisconsin, 8-ounce Triple Cream, 99.50

Second: Lactalis USA, Belmont, Wisconsin, 8-ounce Brie, 99.20

Third: Lactalis USA, Belmont, Wisconsin, 2-pound Triple Cream, 99.15

• Open Class: Soft Ripened Cheeses

First: Savencia Cheese USA, New Holland, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Comeback Cow, 99.75

Second: Fons Smits, Tulip Tree Creamery, Indianapolis, Indiana, Trillium, 98.85

Third: Team Doe Run, The Farm at Doe Run, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Blow Horn, 98.60

• Edam & Gouda

First: Arethusa Farm Dairy, Bantam, Connecticut, Europa, 99.75

Second: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Mature, 99.60

Third: Scott Lopas, Arla Foods, Kaukauna, Wisconsin, 5-pound Edam Loaf, 99.50

• Gouda, Aged

First: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Overjarige, 98.85

Second: Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms-Caves of Faribault, Faribault, Minnesota, Jeff’s Select Cave Aged Gouda, 98.80

Third: Creamery Team, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, California, Grand Gouda 198, 98.75

• Gouda, Flavored

First: John Bulk, Oakdale Cheese, Oakdale, California, Cumin Gouda, 99.15

Second: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Truffle, 99.10

Third: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Burning Melange, 98.95

• Smoked Gouda

First: Maple Leaf Cheesemaking Team, Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc., Monroe, Wisconsin, Smoked Traditional Gouda, 99.85

Second: Bruce Workman, Fair Oaks Farm, Fair Oaks, Indiana, Smoked Gouda, 99.75

Third: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Smoked Cumin, 99.70

• Latin American Style Fresh Cheeses

First: Brian Mundt, Mexican Cheese Producers Inc. (Sigma USA), Darlington, Wisconsin, Queso Panela Basket 4-pound, 99.50

Second: Team V&V Supremo, V&V Supremo Foods Inc., Chicago, Queso Caribe Grilling Cheese, 99.45

Third: Team V&V Supremo, V&V Supremo Foods Inc., Chicago, Queso Fresco, 99.35

• Latin American Style Melting Cheeses

First: Sam Sweeney, V&V Supremo Foods/Chula Vista Cheese Co., Browntown, Wisconsin, Oaxaca Cheese Ball, 99.70

Second: Crave Brothers Team 2, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, Waterloo, Wisconsin, Oaxaca, 99.65

Third: Mark Boelk, V&V Supremo Foods/Chula Vista Cheese Co., Browntown, Wisconsin, Chihuahua Cheese, 99.60

• Latin American Style Hard Cheeses

First: Rizo Lopez Foods Inc., Modesto, California, Cotija, 99.70

Second: Team V&V Supremo, V&V Supremo Foods Inc., Chicago, Cotija Wheel, 98.80

Third: Team V&V Supremo, V&V Supremo Foods Inc., Chicago, Cotija Wheel, 98.75

• Washed Rind/ Smear Ripened Soft Cheeses

First: Jasper Hill Farm, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vermont, Winnimere, 99.40

Second: Alpine Team LCD, Lake Country Dairy Schuman Cheese, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, Yellow Door Creamery “Redhead,” 99.20

Third: Arethusa Farm Dairy, Bantam, Connecticut, Arethusa Diva, 99.00

• Washed Rind/ Smear Ripened Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses

First: Matthew Brichford, Jacobs and Brichford Farmstead Cheese, Connersville, Indiana, Everton, 99.25

Second: Team Doe Run, The Farm at Doe Run, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Bathed in Victory, 99.20

Third: Spring Brook Farm Cheese and Wegmans Food Market, Spring Brook Farm Cheese, Reading, Vermont, The Full Ver-monty, 99.15

• Washed Rind/ Smear Ripened Hard Cheeses

First: Team Emmi Roth, Emmi Roth, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roth Pavino Cheese, 99.85

Second: Andy Hatch, Uplands Cheese, Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Extra-Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve, 99.80

Third: Jasper Hill Farm, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vermont, Alpha Tolman, 99.75

• Pepper Flavored Monterey Jack, Mild Heat

First: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Pepper Jack, 99.30

Second: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Pepper Jack, 98.75

Third: Kirk Baldwin, Valley Queen, Milbank, South Dakota, Monterey Jack Jalapeno cheese with a gentle Mesquite smoke flavor, 98.45

• Pepper Flavored Monterey Jack, Medium Heat

First: Bakhritdin Yusupov, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Pepper Jack, 99.35

Second: Nadezda Heric, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Red Habanero, 99.30

Third: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Habanero Jack, 99.15

• Pepper Flavored Monterey Jack, High Heat

First: Team SWC, Southwest Cheese LLC, Clovis, New Mexico, Ghost Pepper Jack, 98.85

Second: Tillamook County Creamery Association,Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook Habanero, 98.75

Third: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook Habanero, 98.35

• Open Class: Pepper Flavored Cheese, Mild Heat

First: Tom Schmidt, Arla Foods, Kaukauna, Wisconsin, 10-pound Chipotle Gouda Wheel, 99.30

Second: Deaven Halbach, Arla Foods, Kaukauna, Wisconsin, 10-pound Chipotle Gouda Wheel, 99.20

Third: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Hatch Pepper, 98.80

• Open Class: Pepper Flavored Cheese, Medium Heat

First: Matt Cotroneo, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, White Cheddar/Peppers, 99.40

Second: Team Emmi Roth, Emmi Roth, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roth Chipotle Havarti Cheese, 99.30

Third: Abel Navarrete, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Chipotle Cheddar Color, 99.20

• Open Class: Pepper Flavored Cheese, High Heat

First: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Habanero Ghost Pepper Quesadilla, 99.55

Second: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Habanero Ghost Pepper Muenster, 99.50

Third: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Habanero Ghost Pepper Brick, 99.40

• Open Class: Soft Cheeses

First: Randy Wolter, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, BelGioioso Crema di Mascarpone, 99.70

Second: El Mexicano, Marquez Brother Int., Hanford, California, 14-ounce EM Queso Fresco Cremoso, 99.65

Third: Nampa Mascarpone Team, Lactalis American Groupe, Nampa, Idaho, Galbani Mascarpone, 99.60

• Open Class: Semi-soft Cheeses

First: Team Doe Run, The Farm at Doe Run, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Seven Sisters, 99.70

Second: Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, Fithian, Illinois, 12142018, 99.00

Third: Jim Demeter, Door Artisan Cheese Co. LLC, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, Zivile Swedish Style Fontina, 98.85

• Open Class: Hard Cheeses

First: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Premium, 98.85

Second: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Gouda Mature, 98.70

Third: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Reserve BellaVitano Gold, 98.55

• Open Class: Hard Cheeses with Natural Rind

First: Team Emmi Roth, Emmi Roth, Platteville, Wisconsin, Roth Grand Cru Reserve Block, 99.40

Second: Team Doe Run, The Farm at Doe Run, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, St.. Malachi Reserve, 99.25

Third: Team Saxon Creamery, Saxon Cheese LLC, Cleveland, Wisconsin, Aged Butterkase 6 months, 99.10

• Open Class: Flavored Soft Cheeses

First: Nampa Fresh Mozz Team, Lactalis American Group, Nampa, Idaho, Galbani Fresh Mozzarella Marinated - cherry size, 99.40

Second: Rose Boero, Tea Rose Toggenburgs LLC, Custer, Wisconsin, ‘Moo-Sa-Bee’ a soft French style cow’s milk cheese flavored with wasabi and honey, 99.25

Third: Fresh Cheese Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Crème Fraîche Madagascar Vanilla, 99.10

• Open Class: Flavored Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses

First: Dalibor Bampa, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Monterey Jack/Cracked Black Pepper, 99.35

Second: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Caraway Brick, 99.20

Third: Maple Leaf Cheesemaking Team, Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc., Monroe, Wisconsin, Cowboy Jack, 99.15

• Open Class: Flavored Hard Cheeses

First: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano, 99.65

Second: Zachary Henning, Henning Cheese, Kiel, Wisconsin, Peppercorn Cheddar, 99.50

Third: Cut & Wrap Team, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, Everything Bagel Cheddar, 99.40

• Open Class: Flavored Cheeses with Sweet Condiments

First: Davide Toffolon, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, La Bottega di BelGioioso Artigiano Vino Rosso, 99.00

Second: Marieke Gouda Team, Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Wisconsin, Marieke Thorp Cheese, 98.95

Third: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Reserve Chardonnay BellaVitano, 98.70

• Open Class: Smoked Soft and Semi-soft Cheeses

First: Team Calabro, Calabro Cheese Corp., East Haven, Connecticut, Smoked Burrata, 99.80

Second: Global Foods International, Schiller Park, Illinois, Double Smoked Mozzarella, 99.30

Third: Jean-Louis Berthier, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Smoked Monterey Jack, 99.05

• Open Class: Smoked Hard Cheeses

First: Global Foods International, Schiller Park, Illinois, Smoked Natural Aged White Cheddar Loaf, 99.00

Second: Team Jim Falls, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Jim Falls, Wisconsin, Colored Cheddar with Smoke Flavoring, 98.60

Third: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook 15-18 month Smoked, 98.55

• Reduced Fat Soft & Semi-soft Cheeses

First: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Reduced Fat Brick, 99.55

Second: Juan Carlos Rodriquez, Agropur, Hull, Iowa, Reduced Fat Monterey Jack - Cut from 640, 99.25

Third: Micah Klug, Agropur, Weyauwega, Wisconsin, Reduced Fat Feta, 99.05

• Reduced Fat Hard Cheeses

First: Bob Wheeler, Valley Queen Cheese Factory Inc., Milbank, South Dakota, Reduced Fat Cheddar, 99.15

Second: Team Meister 2, Meister Cheese Co., Muscoda, Wisconsin, Reduced Fat Cheddar, 98.80

Third: Team Cabot, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, 50-percent Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar, 98.65

• Lowfat Cheeses

First: Dave Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Fat Free Feta, 98.50

Second: Ricotta, Lactalis American Group Inc., Buffalo, New York, Low Fat Ricotta, 98.45

Third: Team Lake Norden, Agropur, Lake Norden, South Dakota, Lite Mozzarella, 98.40

• Reduced Sodium Cheeses

First: John (Randy) Pitman, Mill Creek Cheese, Arena, Wisconsin, Reduced Sodium Muenster, 99.35

Second: Roger Krohn, Agropur, Luxemburg, Wisconsin, Reduced Sodium Provolone, 99.15

Third: Pat Doell, Agropur, Luxemburg, Wisconsin, Reduced Sodium Provolone, 99.10

• Cold Pack Cheese, Cheese Food

First: Team Pine River, Pine River Prepack, Newton, Wisconsin, Garlic and Herb Cold Pack Cheese Food, 99.70

Second: Team Pine River, Pine River Prepack, Newton, Wisconsin, Aged Asiago Cold Pack Cheese Food, 99.60

Third: Original Herkimer Cheese, Herkimer, New York, Mild Cheddar Cold Pack Cheese Food, 99.55

• Cold Pack Cheese Spreads

First: Team Pine River, Pine River Prepack, Newton, Wisconsin, Pepper Jack Cold Pack Cheese Spread, 99.25

Second: Brian Storm, Lactalis U.S.A. Inc., Merrill, Wisconsin, Black Diamond Cheddar Chardonnay Spreadable Cheese, 99.20.

Third: Lon Riedel, Lactalis U.S.A. Inc., Merrill, Wisconsin, Black Diamond Extra Sharp Cheddar Spreadable Cheese, 98.90.

• Spreadable Natural Cheeses

First: Kraft Heinz, Lowville, New York, Philadelphia 8-ounce Original Cream Cheese, 98.80

Second: Luana Cream Cheese Team, Prairie Farms, Monona, Iowa, Cream Cheese, 98.35

Third: Luana Team, Prairie Farms, Monona, Iowa, Neufchatel, 98.10

• Flavored Spreadable Natural Cheeses

First: Kraft Heinz, Lowville, New York, Philadelphia Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese, 99.45

Second: Alouette Cheese, Savencia Cheese USA, New Holland, Pennsylvania, Alouette Parmesan & Basil Soft Spreadable Cheese, 98.80

Third: Kraft Heinz, Lowville, New York, Philadelphia Chive Whip Cream Cheese, 98.70

• Pasteurized Process Cheeses

First: Gilman Cheese Corp., Gilman, Wisconsin, Shelf Stable Ultra Sharp, 98.50

Second: Prairie Farms Cheese Division, Rochester, Minnesota, Swiss American, 98.20

Third: Process Loaf Team, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Portage, Wisconsin, Colored American Pasteurized Process Cheese Loaf, 97.50

• Flavored Pasteurized Process Cheeses

First: Global Foods International, Schiller Park, Illinois, Smoked Processed Gouda 6-pound Link, 99.35

Second: Richard Oleskey, Biery Cheese Co., Louisville, Ohio, Buffalo American Cheese, 99.15

Third: Tim Parker, Biery Cheese Co., Louisville, Ohio, Mediterranean American Cheese, 99.10

• Pasteurized Process Cheese Slices

First: Process Slice Team, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Portage, Wisconsin, 99.40

Second: Slice Production Line, Bongards Creameries, Norwood, Minnesota, Processed American with Peppers Slice on Slice, 99.35

Third: Old Croc, Trugman-Nash LLC, Chatham, New Jersey, Old Croc Bacon & Jalapeno Pasteurized Process Slices, 99.25

• Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread

First: Courtney Schreiner, Lactalis U.S.A. Inc., Merrill, Wisconsin, Président Wee Brie Process Cheese Spread, 98.70

Second: Alouette Cheese, Savencia Cheese USA, New Holland, Pennsylvania, Alouette Creme de Brie, 98.65

Third: Alouette Cheese, Savencia Cheese USA, New Holland, Pennsylvania, Alouette Creme de Brie Truffle, 98.50

• Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Belmont, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., Milwaukee, Montchevre Rondin, 99.30

Second: Belmont, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., Milwaukee, Montchevre Original Goat Cheese Log, 99.20

Third: Aged Cheese Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Fresh Crottin, 99.15

• Flavored Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Team Idyll, Idyll Farms, Northport, Michigan, Idyll Pastures w/Garlic & Herbs-flavored, 99.70

Second: Team Idyll, Idyll Farms, Northport, Michigan, Idyll Pastures w/Garlic & Herbs-flavored, 99.65

Third: Team Idyll, Idyll Farms, Northport, Michigan, Spreadable Idyll Pastures-Garlic & Herbs-flavored, 99.40

• Flavored Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses with Sweet Condiments

First: Team Mackenzie, Mackenzie Creamery, Hiram, Ohio, Cognac Fig Chevre, 99.75.

Second: Belmont, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., Milwaukee, Pasilla & Honey Goat Cheese Log, 99.65

Third: Team Idyll, Idyll Farms, Northport, Michigan, Idyll Pastures w/Honey and Lavender, 99.60

• Surface (Mold) Ripened Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Aged Cheese Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Bijou, 99.35

Second: Belmont, Saputo Cheese USA Inc., Milwaukee, Montchevre Cabrie, 99.30

Third: Aged Cheese Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Coupole, 99.25

• Semi-soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Jackie Chang, Haystack Mountain Creamery, Longmont, Colorado, Red Cloud raw goat’s milk cheese washed with brine, aged over 60 days, 99.30

Second: John Windemuller, Country Winds Creamery, Zeeland, Michigan, Goat Milk Gouda, 99.10

Third: Team Hook, Hook’s Cheese Co. Inc., Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Barneveld Blue, 99.05

• Flavored Semi-soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Cypress Grove, Arcata, California, Truffle Tremor: Soft-ripened goat cheese jam-packed with Italian black summer truffles, 99.20

Second: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Sweet Vanilla Cardona, 98.95

Third: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Black Goat Truffle, 98.75

• Hard Goat’s Milk Cheeses

First: Team Central Coast, Central Coast Creamery, Paso Robles, California, Goat Cheddar, 99.75

Second: Jackie Chang, Haystack Mountain Creamery, Longmont, Colorado, Gold Hill pasteurized goats milk aged over 6 months, 99.70

Third: Pam Hodgson, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat, 99.45

• Soft Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

First: Green Dirt Farm, Weston, Missouri, Fresh Plain, 99.80

Second: Chris Osborne, Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee, Fresh Brebis, 99.60.

Third: Brenda Jensen, Hidden Springs Creamery, Westby, Wisconsin, Driftless Natural, 98.75

• Semi-soft/ Semi-hard Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

First: Landmark Creamery Team, Landmark Creamery Provisions, Belleville, Wisconsin, Anabasque, 98.20

Second: Team Hook, Hook’s Cheese Co. Inc., Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Little Boy Blue, 98.10

Third: Brenda Jensen, Hidden Springs Creamery, Westby, Wisconsin, Farmstead Feta Reserve, 97.15

• Flavored Soft & Semi-soft Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

First: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Smoked Marisa, 99.30

Second: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Porto Duet, 99.25

Third: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Black Sheep Truffle, 99.05

• Surface (Mold) Ripened Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

First: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Cave Aged Marisa, 99.25

Second: Nettle Meadow Team, Nettle Meadow Cheese Co., Warrensburg, New York, Simply Sheep, 99.20

Third: Green Dirt Farm, Weston, Missouri, Dirt Lover, 98.00

• Hard Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

First: Team Central Coast, Central Coast Creamery, Paso Robles, California, Ewereka, 98.90

Second: GVC Cheesemakers, Grafton Village Cheese, Brattleboro, Vermont, Bear Hill, 98.50

Third: Cedar Grove Cheese Team, Cedar Grove Cheese, Plain, Wisconsin, Donatello, 98.45

• Soft & Semi-soft Mixed Milk Cheeses

First: Team Central Coast, Central Coast Creamery, Paso Robles, California, Seascape, 99.50

Second: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Caso Bolo Mellage, 99.35

Third: Rizo Lopez Foods Inc., Modesto, California, Margherita, 99.10

• Surface (Mold) Ripened Mixed Milk Cheeses

First: Nettle Meadow Team, Nettle Meadow Cheese Co., Warrensburg, New York, Sappy Ewe, 99.45

Second: Nettle Meadow Team, Nettle Meadow Cheese Co., Warrensburg, New York, Kunik, 99.40

Third: Aged Cheese Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Cremont, 99.20

• Hard Mixed Milk Cheeses

First: Team Doe Run, The Farm at Doe Run, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, The Creamery Collection Batch #17, 99.30

Second: Cedar Grove Cheese Team, Cedar Grove Cheese, Plain, Wisconsin, Montague, 98.45

Third: Mike Matucheski, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Limited Edition Pastorale Blend, 98.35

• Flavored Soft & Semi-soft Mixed Milk Cheeses

First: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Gran Canaria, 99.15

Second: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Airco, 99.10

Third: Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wisconsin, Canaria, 99.05

• Butter

First: Team 1st Shift, Foremost Farms USA, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, 99.70

Second: Team West Springfield, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, West Springfield, Massachusetts, 99.65

Third: Team 2nd Shift, Foremost Farms USA, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, 99.35

• Unsalted Butter

First: Team West Springfield, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, West Springfield, Massachusetts, Unsalted Butter, 99.05

Second: Team West Springfield, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, West Springfield, Massachusetts, Unsalted Butter, 98.80

Third: Rumiano Cheese Co., Willows, California, Sweet Cream Butter, 98.60

• Flavored Butter

First: Pine River Dairy, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Sea Salt Caramel Flavored Butter, 99.65

Second: Butter Team, Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vermont, Cultured Butter with Sea Salt & Maple, 99.60

Third: Pine River Dairy, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Lemon & Dill Flavored Butter, 99.40

• Lowfat Yogurt - Cow’s Milk

First: West Seneca Cultured Division, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., Buffalo, New York, Lowfat Orange Creme Yogurt, 97.75

Second: Karoun Dairies LLC, Turlock, California, Karoun’s Low Fat Yogurt, 97.55

Third: Adam Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Lowfat 1-percent Vanilla Yogurt, 97.50

• Yogurt - Cow’s Milk

First: Karoun Dairies LLC, Turlock, California, Arz Middle Eastern-style Whole Milk Yogurt, 97.00

Second: West Seneca Cultured Division, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., Buffalo, New York, Whole Milk Cupset Yogurt, 96.30

Third: Liam Callahan, Bellwether Farms, Petaluma, California, Plain Organic Cow Milk Yogurt, 96.25

• Yogurt, Flavored - Cow’s Milk

First: Pure Eire Dairy, Othello, Washington, Organic 100-percent Grass-Fed Lemon Whole Milk Yogurt, 98.00

Second: West Seneca Cultured Division, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., Buffalo, New York, Lowfat FOB Raspberry Yogurt, 97.45

Third: Karoun Dairies LLC, Turlock, California, Karoun’s Honey Coconut Greek Yogurt, 97.30

• High Protein Yogurt - Cow’s Milk

First: North Country Dairy Facility, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., Buffalo, New York, 5-percent Greek Yogurt, 98.00

Second: Matt Martin, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Greek Yogurt 2-percent, 97.20

Third: Eric Weidman, Siggi’s Dairy, New York, 4-percent Fat Skyr, 96.90

• High Protein Yogurt, Flavored - Cow’s Milk

First: Adam Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Greek Yogurt Vanilla, 98.60

Second: Dave Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Greek Yogurt , Lowfat Vanilla, 98.45

Third: Matt Martin, Klondike Cheese Co., Monroe, Wisconsin, Odyssey Greek Yogurt Lowfat Blueberry, 98.30

• Yogurt - All Other Milks

First: Team St.. Benoit, St.. Benoit Creamery, Sonoma, California, Laura Chenel - Yogurt made by cheesemakers w/clean/fresh milk profile & vanilla, 97.25

Second: Coach Farm, Pine Plains, New York, Plain Grade A Goat’s Milk Yogurt, 96.75

Third: Liam Callahan, Bellwether Farms, Petaluma, California, Blackberry Sheep Milk Yogurt, 96.50

• Drinkable Cultured Products

First: Stonyfield Organic, Londonderry, New Hampshire, Stonyfield Organic Low Fat Protein Smoothie - Peach, 99.80

Second: Stonyfield Organic, Londonderry, New Hampshire, Stonyfield Organic Low Fat Protein Smoothie - Strawberry, 99.65

Third: Team Weber’s, Weber’s Farm Store, Marshfield, Wisconsin, Raspberry Kefir, 99.60

• Open Class Shredded Cheese, Flavored & Unflavored

First: Masters Gallery Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Shredded Colby Jack, 99.35

Second: Dan Reed, Chula Vista Cheese Co./V&V Supremo Foods, Browntown, Wisconsin, Chihuahua Cheese Shred, 99.30

Third: Team 4, Agropur, Jerome, Idaho, Feather Shredded Sharp Cheddar, 99.25

• Open Class Shredded Cheese Blends, Flavored & Unflavored

First: Masters Gallery Foods, Inc., Plymouth, Wisconsin, 3 Cheese Blend, 99.15

Second: Team Sartori, Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sartori Reserve Blend Shredded Cheddar, 99.10

Third: Team Schuman Cheese, Schuman Cheese, Fairfield, New Jersey, Cello Shredded Italian Blend, 98.95

• Prepared Cheese Foods

First: Anthony Mongiello, Formaggio Italian Cheese Specialties, Hurleyville, New York, Pre-sliced Prosciutto & Fresh Basil Roll, 99.55

Second: Anthony Mongiello, Formaggio Italian Cheese Specialties, Hurleyville, New York, Pre-sliced Capicola & Fresh Basil Roll, 99.50

Third: Peter Gretzinger, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Prosciutto & Fresh Basil Roll, 99.45

• Natural Snack Cheese

First: Ryan Healy, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin, BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Snacking Cheese, 99.45

Second: Crave Brothers Team, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC, Waterloo, Wisconsin, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, 99.30

Third: Team Emmi Roth, Emmi Roth, Platteville, Wisconsin, Roth Creamy Gouda Snack Cheese, 99.00

• Natural Sliced Cheese

First: Midnight Mayhem, Great Lakes Cheese, Plymouth, Wisconsin, Swiss Cracker Cuts, 99.65

Second: Sharp Shooters, Great Lakes Cheese, Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sharp Cheddar Slices, 99.20

Third: Cut & Wrap Team, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, Sliced Colby Jack, 99.15

• Cheese Based Spreads

First: Brian Storm, Lactalis U.S.A. Inc., Merrill, Wisconsin, Président Gourmet Pairings Soft Spreadable Cheese, 99.60

Second: Michele Sawyer, Red Clay Gourmet, Winston Salem, North Carolina, Flame Roasted Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese, 99.55

Third: Michele Sawyer, Red Clay Gourmet, Winston Salem, North Carolina, Hickory Smoked Cheddar Pimiento Cheese, 99.50

• Dry Whey

First: Gary Sloan Jr., Rothenbuhler Cheesemakers, Middlefield, Ohio, Sweet Whey Powder, 99.90

Second: Dryer Team, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Jim Falls, Wisconsin, Dried Whey Powder, 99.85

Third: Saputo Cheese USA, Tulare, California, Sweet Whey Powder, 99.80

• Whey Protein Concentrate 34

First: Saputo Cheese USA, Waupun, Wisconsin, WPC 34 Unbleached, 99.90

Second: Foremost Farms USA, Plover, Wisconsin, Daritek DMX Reduced Minerals Whey Protein Concentrate, 99.85

Third: Foremost Farms USA, Sparta, Wisconsin, Whey Protein Concentrate 34, 99.80

• Whey Protein Concentrate 80

First: Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Oregon, Tillamook Whey Protein Concentrate 80, 99.90

Second: Saputo Cheese USA, Tulare, California, WPC 80-percent Regular, 99.60

Third: Saputo Cheese USA, Tulare, California, WPC 80-percent Instant, 99.50

• Whey Protein Isolate 90

First: Nampa Whey Plant Team, Lactalis American Group, Nampa, Idaho, Whey Protein Isolate Powder 90-percent, 99.95

Second: SWC Whey Team, Southwest Cheese, Clovis, New Mexico, Provon 292, 99.90

Third: Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, Provon 190 WPI, 99.85

• Whey Permeate

First: Lactalis American Group Inc., Buffalo, New York, Whey Permeate, 99.85

Second: Nampa Whey Plant Team, Lactalis American Group, Nampa, Idaho, Whey Permeate Powder Lactowell, 99.80

Third: Saputo Cheese USA, Tulare, California, Deproteinized Whey Powder, 99.75

• Nonfat Dry Milk & Skim Milk Powder

First: Group 1, Continental Dairy Facilities LLC, Coopersville, Michigan, Nonfat Dry Milk, 99.95

Second: Group 2, Continental Dairy Facilities LLC, Coopersville, Michigan, Nonfat Dry Milk, 99.90

Third: Goshen Team, Dairy Farmers of America, Goshen, Indiana, NDM LH, 99.85

• Whole Milk Powder

No scored entries

• Milk Protein Concentrate

First: Crystal Carbajal, Dairy Farmers of America, Portales, New Mexico, 99.95

Second: Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, Idaho, 99.90

Third: Crystal Carbajal, Dairy Farmers of America, Portales, New Mexico, 99.85

• Milk Protein Isolate

First: Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, Idaho, Milk Protein Isolate, 99.80

Second: Grassland Dairy Products, Inc., Greenwood, Wisconsin, Milk Protein Isolate, 99.60

Third: California Dairies Inc., Visalia, California, Instant Milk Protein Isolate, 99.25

CMN


U.S. dairy exports decline in December; 2018 exports up

March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. dairy product exports reached record highs in 2018, but were down during the final months of the year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

Suppliers shipped 152,952 metric tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey products and lactose in December, the lowest figure in nearly two years, and down 21 percent from December 2017, USDEC reports. U.S. dairy exports were worth a total of $428.9 million in December, down 9 percent from a year earlier.

On a value basis, sales to China were down 40 percent in December, while sales to Southeast Asia were down 27 percent, USDEC says. This was only partially offset by a 17-percent increase in sales to Mexico.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, dairy export volumes were down 11 percent after posting a 16-percent increase in the first three quarters, USDEC says. The total aggregate volume of U.S. dairy exports in 2018 was 2.2 million metric tons, up 9 percent from the 2017 total. Dairy export volumes for the full year 2018 were worth $5.59 billion, up 2 percent from the previous year.

December cheese exports were 28,854 metric tons, up 6 percent from December 2017, while full-year cheese exports were 348,561 metric tons, up 2 percent from the full-year 2017 total. USDEC notes that cheese sales in December increased to Mexico, South Korea, Japan and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.

U.S. exports of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) totaled 50,367 metric tons in December, down 17 percent vs. the year before, USDEC reports. Shipments to Mexico remained good, but exports to Southeast Asia, China, Peru, Pakistan, Japan and the MENA region were down. Full-year NDM/SMP exports were 715,491 metric tons, up 18 percent from 2017.

Whey exports in December totaled 34,266 metric tons, the lowest in 33 months and down 35 percent from the previous year. Total whey exports to China in December were just half of the prior year’s record level. In the six months since retaliatory tariffs were put in place (July-December), U.S. exports to China were down 39 percent, averaging a loss of 8,078 metric tons a month, USDEC says. Overall whey exports in 2018 totaled 545,890 metric tons, down less than 1 percent from the previous year’s total.

Lactose exports totaled 27,448 metric tons in December, down 23 percent, as suppliers saw double-digit declines to Southeast Asia, China and Mexico, USDEC reports. Full-year 2018 lactose exports totaled 392,166 metric tons, up 9 percent from 2017.

On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were equivalent to 12.8 percent of U.S. milk production in December, bringing the full-year percentage to 15.8 percent.

CMN


Total natural cheese stocks set new record for January

March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON —Total natural cheese stocks in U.S. refrigerated warehouses Jan. 31, 2019, reached 1.36 billion pounds, up 1 percent from Dec. 31, 2018’s 1.34 billion pounds and up 6 percent from the 1.28 billion pounds in cold storage at the end of January 2018, according to data released Thursday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This is a new record high for January total cheese in cold storage, NASS reports. NASS records for cheese cold storage date back to August 1917.

American-type cheese in cold storage totaled 805.3 million pounds Jan. 31, 2019, up 1 percent from 800.3 million pounds Dec. 31, 2018, and up 9 percent from 741.8 million pounds Jan. 31, 2018.

Swiss cheese in cold storage totaled 29.4 million pounds Jan. 31, 2019, down 1 percent from 29.8 million pounds Dec. 31, 2018, but up 2 percent from 28.7 million pounds Jan. 31, 2018.

Other natural cheese in cold storage totaled 525.3 million pounds Jan. 31, 2019, up 2 percent from 514.7 million pounds Dec. 31, 2018, and up 3 percent from 508.1 million pounds Jan. 31, 2018.

NASS reports butter in cold storage totaled 211.1 million pounds Jan. 31, 2019, 18 percent higher than Dec. 31, 2018’s 179.3 million pounds but 7 percent lower than the 226.7 million pounds in cold storage at the end of January 2018.

CMN



Cheese is a steadfast staple in regional pizza traditions

March 1, 2019

By Alyssa Mitchell

MADISON, Wis. — Across the United States, pizza continues to be a top choice for consumers, and local traditions give this favorite food unique spins.

From Chicago deep dish to New York foldover style to fresh, fun toppings featured on California pies, regional favorites have one thing in common — cheese as a central ingredient.

• California creative

“There’s not a pizza on our menu that does not have cheese — we believe it’s an integral part of the pizza making experience,” says Jade Waterman, director of marketing for San Diego-based Woodstock’s Pizza.

Woodstock’s Pizza was founded in Corvallis, Oregon, by Chuck Woodstock, and the original store there is the only one outside of California. Woodstock’s expanded with additional locations in California, where it is based today.

Chuck Woodstock passed away in a plane crash in 1985, leaving the company in the hands of family members. Eventually the families promoted longtime employee Jeff Ambrose to president, and he oversees all California locations. The original Corvallis restaurant is solely owned by Chuck Woodstock’s wife, Carol Lee Woodstock.

Waterman says California pizza builds on the tradition of Neapolitan — a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy, and is prepared with simple and fresh ingredients such as a basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, fresh basil and olive oil — but plays “a little more fast and loose.”

At Woodstock’s, pizza dough is made from six ingredients and fashioned into a thin-style crust. Most pies feature whole milk Mozzarella and sauce made from California-grown tomatoes.

From there, creativity is unleashed, Waterman says. Some of Woodstock’s featured pies include:

• All ‘Choked Up, made with creamy garlic sauce, spinach, Mozzarella, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, shaved Parmesan and double bacon.

• Sriracha-Cha, made with creamy Sriracha sauce, crispy bacon, juicy pineapple and fresh green onions, topped with a Sriracha swirl.

• Pesto Primavera, made with pesto sauce, broccoli, artichoke hearts, sliced red onions and fresh tomatoes.

Woodstock’s menu also includes salads and appetizers, many of which feature cheese, including loaded tots smothered in cheese, bacon, onions and jalapeños and served with a side of zesty red sauce or ranch dressing.

“I think California-style pizza allows for a little more creativity,” Waterman says. “When you use better-quality ingredients, you get a better-quality end product.”

Waterman notes Woodstock’s frequently samples its ingredients against other products on the market to ensure it is using the best.

She adds that seasonality also plays into Woodstock’s pies, and the restaurant utilizes zucchini in the summer months and is looking at making a lemon Ricotta pizza this summer.

• New York tradition

While creativity reigns on the West Coast, tradition is paramount in the Northeast.

Established in 1965, Di Fara Pizza, with two locations in Brooklyn, is a New York tradition.

Founder Domenico “Dom” Demarco opened Di Fara Pizza in 1965 after immigrating to Brooklyn from the Province of Caserta in Italy. With several of his children supporting him in the kitchen, Demarco still cooks at the age of 82. Many of the ingredients are imported from Italy and create a taste that can’t be replicated, the company says.

“To me, New York-style means a slice that you fold and can walk around with while you’re eating it,” says Margaret Mieles, Demarco’s daughter and manager of Di Fara, which sells pizza by the slice in addition to full pies.

She notes New York-style pizza has a thin crust, but it is chewy rather than crispy and sturdy enough to support the slice held in one hand, yet still flexible enough to fold without shattering.

Di Fara’s pizzas feature a base cheese recipe of a whole milk Mozzarella and Parmesan blend, and the restaurant also uses a three-cheese blend of fresh buffalo Mozzarella, Fior di Latte — semi-soft, fresh cheese made in the style of Italian Mozzarella — and Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mieles notes.

Mieles says cheese plays an “extremely important” role in the flavor and experience of Di Fara’s pizzas.

“The way you take a bite and the cheese stretches — it’s probably one of the most important aspects of our pizza,” she says.
There is a second minor style that is also known in New York: Sicilian, a rectangular sheet pie with thicker, bread-like crust and corners. Di Fara also makes this style and calls them “square pies,” and the dough is airier than most Sicilian pizza dough.

• Hip to be square

The city of Detroit is no stranger to Sicilian-style pizza, and actually built off of this tradition to create its own unique original Detroit-style pizza.

The original creator — Buddy’s Pizza, based in Detroit with locations throughout Michigan — continues to serve The Original Detroit Style Pizza, somewhat a “hybrid of Neapolitan and Sicilian,” says Wes Pikula, chief brand officer, Buddy’s Pizza.
Over time, the pizzeria has added a variety of items to its menu including gluten-free pizza, multi-grain crust, pastas, burgers, sandwiches and more, but stays true to its roots with the Detroit-style pie.

Rectangular pies are available as either 4- or 8-slice pizzas, and the pizza has a connection to the city’s auto industry — the pans originally sourced and in use today were used as scrap metal collectors in manufacturing plants and small automotive supply shops, Pikula says.

Buddy’s Pizza varieties are based on Detroit names, like the Henry Ford (red onion, ground beef, bacon, Blue cheese), the Detroit Zoo (roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, basil) or the bestselling Detroiter, which features pepperoni, cheese, tomato basil sauce and Buddy’s signature spice blend.

Pikula notes traditionally the sauce is added last, creating a sort of “upside down pizza” effect. He adds the pizza typically is made with Brick cheese, a unique distinction from the Mozzarella used on many pies across the nation.

Pikula says Brick cheese, with a higher butterfat content, melts differently and isn’t as chewy as Mozzarella.

At Detroit Style Pizza Co., Saint Clair Shores, Michigan — founded in 2012 by World Champion Pizza Maker Shawn Randazzo — a Brick and Mozzarella cheese blend is used and spread across the top of the pan, edge to edge, to create a caramelized crust.

“Cheese is a huge factor in this style of pizza, particularly with the crust,” Randazzo says.

The restaurant’s menu also features salads and sandwiches that include an array of cheeses such as Provolone, Mozzarella and Burrata.

• Indulgent deep dish

While some pizza styles work for on-the-go eating, traditional Chicago deep dish isn’t one of them.

Jonathan Porter, founder of Chicago Pizza Tours, says when Chicago deep dish was invented at Uno Pizzeria & Grill in downtown Chicago in 1943, the idea was to make it more of a meal than an on-the-go item.

Traditional deep dish crust is almost more similar to a pie crust, with a biscuity, crispy crust with a corn meal taste to it, Porter says. A well-seasoned pan is lined with corn oil, and the moist dough is spread around the bottom and pulled up around the edges of the pan.

“While it’s cooked in the deep dish pan around the edge of the pizza, it’s not super thick crust,” he says.

Porter notes the next crucial ingredient for deep dish is cheese. Pizzerias today typically use a blend of whole milk and part-skim Mozzarella for the ideal taste and texture.

“You want a flavorful, salty cheese, but also one that can get a little stringy and has that gooey cheese pull as you take a slice from the pan,” he says.

He notes actual slices of the cheese are layered onto the pizza, rather than sprinkling shredded cheese, because the cheese needs to cover the entire base.

Toppings are then added — most traditionally sausage, peppers and onions — but the company really adds whatever the customers want on their pie, Porter notes. And in this style of pizza, the sauce goes on last.

“The cheese and toppings create a barrier between the crust and the sauce to keep the dough from getting soggy,” he says. The sauce may be topped with a blend of Italian seasonings and then baked for about 30 minutes at 600 degrees.

“When it comes out, you have to cut it with a large knife. The crust is brittle and breaks a bit but still holds everything in place,” he says. “Ideally, you eat it with a knife and fork.”

Deep dish traditionalists note that an ideal deep dish pie has a balance of all of the flavors, without one flavor overpowering the others.

“With a true Chicago-style deep dish pizza, the dough is more than a thin crust but it’s not meant to be super bready — you’re not eating more than 50 percent bread,” says Jim D’Angelo, chief operating officer at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Chicago. Founder Lou Malnati got his start in the 1940s working at Uno’s and took his pizza expertise to Lincolnwood, a northern suburb of Chicago, where he and his wife Jean opened the first Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in 1971.

In addition to the family’s secret recipe for flaky, buttery crust, Lou Malnati’s uses fresh Mozzarella that comes from the same small dairy in Wisconsin that has supplied the pizzeria for more than 40 years, the company says.

Porter notes a sister to deep dish, the stuffed pizza, is often roped into deep dish but is actually made a different way.

“You use butter instead of oil in the pan, and shredded versus sliced Mozzarella,” he says. “You then add the toppings and then roll another piece of dough on top to cover it and poke a few holes in the top.”

This pie is baked slower — 45 minutes at 450 degrees.

“It’s almost twice as heavy as a deep dish pizza, and it utilizes a lot of cheese!” Porter says.

Porter notes another Chicago pizza tradition is the tavern-style thin crust — typically preferred by locals. It’s a circular pizza that is cut into squares and features a more cracker-type crust.

“You also get this pizza well done — the cheese has an almost orange-brown color to it,” he says.

• Outside the box

At Uncle Bill’s Pizza, Davenport, Iowa — locally owned and operated since 1995 — Quad City-style pizza reigns. Quad City is a style that centers around the Quad Cities region of Iowa and Illinois.

For this local favorite, cheese is layered on top of the other toppings, and the pies are cut into rectangular strips versus traditional triangular slices.

“We use a malt-based dough, so it gives a sort of malty, sweet crunch to it — it’s the furthest thing from a bread-like dough you can imagine,” says Dean Creech, owner of Uncle Bill’s. “It cooks dark and is crunchy when done.”

In this style of pizza, all of the toppings go beneath the cheese, which is typically a blend, Creech says. At Uncle Bill’s, pizzas feature a blend of different types of 2 percent Mozzarella as well as a Parmesan-Romano blend. The pizza sauce also has a bit of spiciness to it, he adds.

“We use large chunks of cheese that we grind in a food processor,” he says. “Sometimes we use both blends on the pizza, sometimes not.”

When asked what sets Quad City-style pizza apart, Creech says, “Everything.”

“There are no visible toppings since they’re under the cheese. It’s cut differently. Our sausage is very chunky and spread over the pie in a thick layer, not sprinkled,” he says. “It’s a very unique style — you either love it or hate it.”

• Pick your pizza

Porter is quick to note that in a large city like Chicago, consumers have access to nearly all types of pizza.

“We have two distinct styles, but we’re also a city that embraces other regions’ styles of pizza,” he says.

He adds that Chicago pizza makers are using increasing varieties and types of cheeses due to the vast variety of pizza styles in the city.

Pikula adds that cheese can make or break a pizza.

“The consistency of the cheese is more important that anything,” he says. “When you’re dealing with something that is ‘alive,’ it’s developing all the time. There’s a window when it’s optimal to use it, how it melts best — it’s tricky, but doing it right can separate you from every other pizza place.”

Porter notes over the past decade or so, pizza has really risen to be respected as a “real” restaurant menu item.

“It’s almost taken on a second life,” he says. “With new ingredients, everyone’s trying just about everything.”
But despite all the newer ingredients pizza makers are experimenting with, “without cheese, you don’t have a pizza,” Creech says.

“You can make a pizza without a lot of toppings — but in my mind, you can’t do it without cheese,” he says.

CMN


Senate Ag Committee holds hearing on farm bill next steps

March 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, held a hearing Thursday on implementing the 2018 Farm Bill which featured testimony from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

The Senate and House agriculture committees last year produced a bipartisan, bicameral farm bill, and President Trump signed the legislation into law Dec. 20, 2018.

“When the 2018 Farm Bill was signed by the president last December, it accomplished what we set out to do — provide certainty and predictability for farmers, families and rural communities,” Roberts says. “We will work together to ensure that these programs are operating as Congress intended and that changes are implemented as promptly as possible.”

In his testimony, Perdue notes that over the past year, USDA has responded to conditions that tested the resilience of American farmers with initiatives to create economic conditions in which they can prosper.

With the help of crop insurance, natural disaster assistance programs and short-term trade mitigation programs, many producers are managing the stresses of these difficult times and are indicating increased optimism, particularly with expectations that trade partnerships will strengthen in the near future, Perdue says.

“Regardless of the challenges 2018 brought to rural America, farmers and ranchers are resilient and remain optimistic about the future,” Perdue says. “Looking forward, USDA projects 2019 net farm income at $77.6 billion, a $14 billion increase from the projections made last year. The upward swing comes as USDA projects an increase in 2019 cash receipts — $375.8 billion in this year’s report, rising $11 billion from last year — and a drop in cash expenses — $322.3 billion, a $3 billion drop from last year’s projections.”

It is in this context that USDA is undertaking the important work of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill, he notes.

“Overall, the new law fulfills the primary goal of farm programs: to help farmers and ranchers manage risks and continue producing food, fiber and fuel in good years as well as bad,” he says.

Perdue says he wants to assure the U.S. ag community that USDA is implementing the farm bill as quickly as possible.

He notes Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky is leading implementation efforts within the department, following a process similar to one put in place by USDA to implement the 2014 Farm Bill. The implementation working group initially met Dec. 20 before the recent shutdown began.

“The entire team is working aggressively on implementation, and has catalogued the provisions requiring action, assigned them to responsible agencies and staff, and is finalizing timelines,” Perdue says.

Agencies also have started gathering stakeholder input on how best to implement the provisions, in line with Congress’ direction laid out in the law, Perdue says, noting that USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area held a public listening session Tuesday. Formal and informal listening sessions will continue in the weeks ahead.

He notes as an example of USDA’s early efforts that the department already allocated fiscal year 2019 funding to recipients for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, which were both reauthorized in the farm bill.

In addition, the Farm Service Agency dairy task force has begun to identify policy, software, training and other implementation issues and gather recommendations for leadership decisions, Perdue notes.

“We understand the dairy industry’s critical financial situation and we will make sure we prioritize the quick yet sound implementation of the industry’s safety net,” he says. “My commitment is that USDA will plow ahead with implementation, working diligently to deliver quality programs that serve the urgent needs of our customers.”

In today’s Federal Register, USDA announced the reauthorization of the Dairy Forward Pricing Program (DFPP) in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill.

The DFPP allows milk handlers, under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, to voluntarily enter into forward price contract with producers or cooperative associations of producers for a negotiated price for raw milk.

Establishing new contracts under the DFPP has been prohibited since the expiration of the program Sept. 30, 2018. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the program to allow handlers to enter into new contracts until Sept. 30, 2023.

Any forward contract entered prior to the Sept. 30, 2023, deadline is subject to a Sept. 30, 2026, expiration date, USDA notes.

Among the provisions of the new farm bill are significant investments in USDA research, Perdue also notes.

In August, USDA announced it would realign the Economic Research Service under the Office of the Chief Economist and would relocate both ERS and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture outside of the national Capitol region.

“Those changes are intended to improve customer service, strengthen offices and programs, and save taxpayer dollars,” Perdue says, noting USDA received 136 expressions of interest submissions from 35 states. The firm Ernst & Young was retained to evaluate and conduct the site selection process.

“We recognize there are outstanding questions regarding this decision and are committed to an open process as we move forward together to address concerns,” he says.

CMN


U.S. cheese production down in December; year total rises

March 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 1.092 billion pounds in December, 1.2 percent below December 2017’s 1.105 billion pounds, according to preliminary data released Thursday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Dairy Production chart.)

Reported December cheese production was 1.0 percent above November 2018’s 1.081 billion pounds, although when adjusting for the length of the months December production was down 2.2 percent on an average daily basis.

December’s preliminary production data brings the U.S. total for 2018 to 12.930 billion pounds, up 2.1 percent from 2017’s 12.659 billion pounds.

Wisconsin led the nation’s cheese production in December with 280.5 million pounds, a decrease of 3.9 percent from a year earlier. California followed with 221.4 million pounds, an increase of 1.8 percent.

Total U.S. butter production was 171.0 million pounds, 0.1 percent below December 2017 but 17.0 percent above November 2018’s 146.1 million pounds. On an average daily basis, December butter production was up 13.2 percent from November 2018.

California, the nation’s leading butter-making state, saw production decline 7.7 percent in the December-to-December comparison to 46.4 million pounds.

CMN



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Today's Cheese Spot Trading
March 20, 2019

Barrels: $1.5450 (+3 1/2)
Blocks: $1.5825 (NC)


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Cheese Production
U.S. Total Jan.
1.097 bil. lbs.


Milk Production
U.S. Total Jan.
18.437 bil. lbs.

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Joe Schmit, Rice Dairy LLC

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