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Annual consumption of U.S. cheese hits an all-time high

December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. per capita cheese consumption reached an all-time high in 2022 at nearly 42 pounds per person, a half-a-pound per-person increase over the previous year, according to annual data on per capita dairy consumption released yesterday by USDA’s Economic Research Service. Per capita consumption of all dairy products was 653 pounds on a milkfat basis and 513 pounds on a skim-solids basis, down from last year but well above the historical average dating back to 1975 when USDA began tracking per capita dairy consumption. Ice cream consumption in 2022, at nearly 19 pounds per capita, also edged out the previous year, while other dairy products including yogurt and butter, though down from 2021, remained consistent with recent-year highs.

“Americans are turning to dairy like never before as part of their health regimen, to celebrate with family and friends, or to liven up their meal and snacking routines. The data from USDA demonstrate how consumers continue to choose dairy products even as they exercise cost-conscious shopping, illustrating how dairy remains affordable and accessible to all people,” notes the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “Dairy is more than a food or beverage — it has become an essential part of our lives, in more than 95% of U.S. households on any given day. The growth in dairy consumption is a testament to America’s dairy foods makers who offer wholesome, delicious, affordable products for people all ages, all year around.”

Consistent with the long-term trend, per capita milk consumption continued to decline in 2022, falling to 130 pounds (milk-content weight), down from 134 pounds in 2021. Fluid milk consumption has not increased since 1985, and has declined 171 pounds per capita since first recorded as 247 pounds in 1975.

Regular ice cream consumption totaled 12.7 pounds per person in 2022, up from 12.2 pounds in 2021. Lowfat and nonfat ice cream consumption per person in 2022 totaled 6.2 pounds, down from 6.6 pounds in 2021.

Frozen yogurt consumption was up slightly from 0.8 pounds in 2021 to 0.9 pounds per person in 2022.

Per capita consumption of yogurt (other than frozen) totaled 13.9 pounds in 2022, down from 14.3 pounds in 2021 but up from the previous several years.

Per capita consumption of all dry products (dry whole milk, nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder, dry buttermilk and dry whey/whey protein concentrate) totaled 4.0 pounds per capita in 2022, slightly down from 2021.

Butter consumption has remained at or above 6.0 pounds per person since 2018, but 2022 per capita butter consumption fell 0.4 pounds from the record 6.4 pounds set in 2021.

American-type cheese consumption remained tied with the previous year’s record at 16.2 pounds per person, while other-than-American cheese consumption rose from 23.1 pounds in 2021 to 23.6 pounds in 2022.

Cottage cheese consumption remained at 1.9 pounds per person.

IDFA notes that in the past decade alone, domestic per capita consumption of cheese is up 17.1% and per capita butter consumption is up 9.0%. Overall, USDA data show American dairy per capita consumption across products consistently increasing each year, with 2022 up 0.4% over the past five years, 7.5% over the past 15 years and 16.1% over the past 30 years.

“If it’s made with dairy and it can fit on a plate, in a bowl or in your favorite mug, chances are Americans are loving it more than ever before,” IDFA says. “Today’s dairy is different because dairy is always evolving to give Americans what they crave.”

To view the latest and historical per capita dairy consumption data, visit


Dairy groups disappointed in USMCA panel ruling on TRQs

December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai late last week announced that a dispute settlement panel established under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has released a report regarding Canada’s dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocation measures. In this panel proceeding, the United States challenged Canada’s dairy TRQ allocation measures, which use a market-share approach for determining TRQ allocations, and prohibit retailers, foodservice operators and other types of importers from utilizing TRQ allocations.

Two of the three panelists found that Canada’s measures do not breach of any of the USMCA commitments that the United States cited. One panelist, however, agreed with a principal U.S. claim challenging Canada’s narrow definition of eligible applicants, which excludes a substantial number of importers that would be eager to bring higher-value, retail-ready U.S. dairy products to Canadian consumers.

“I am very disappointed by the findings in the USMCA panel report released today on Canada’s dairy TRQ allocation measures,” Tai says. “Despite the conclusions of this report, the United States continues to have serious concerns about how Canada is implementing the dairy market access commitments it made in the agreement. While the United States won a previous USMCA dispute on Canada’s dairy TRQ allocation measures, Canada’s revised policies have still not fixed the problem for U.S dairy farmers. We will continue to work to address this issue with Canada, and we will not hesitate to use all available tools to enforce our trade agreements and ensure that U.S. workers, farmers, manufacturers and exporters receive the full benefits of the USMCA.”

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack adds, “Although we are disappointed in the outcome of this second case, we brought this case to refine and expand upon our win in the first case. We will continue to voice deep concerns about Canada’s system. We remain focused on securing the market access we believe Canada committed to under the USMCA, and we will continue exploring all avenues available to achieve that goal.”

Dairy and agricultural stakeholders expressed disappointment in the ruling as well.

“We believe Canada’s TRQ policies put America’s hardworking dairy farmers at a disadvantage and don’t live up to the spirit of agreements put in place under USMCA,” says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Canada has long been a strong trading partner for American farmers and ranchers, but that relationship relies on both sides playing fair.”

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) called the setback “surprising” and said the ruling reflects a glaring failure to safeguard the most fundamental rights outlined in the USMCA.

“First and foremost, IDFA commends the hard work of the U.S. government team that worked on this dispute; the outcome of this dispute is not an indication of the government’s efforts in this particular matter. Yet, we are completely stunned and deeply disappointed by this panel’s failure to defend even the most basic rights outlined in USMCA,” says Michael Dykes, president and CEO, IDFA. “This outcome sadly confirms what the U.S. dairy community and U.S. negotiators collectively feared from the outset of USMCA negotiations — that Canada’s supply management system is so imbalanced and so far outside a rules-based and free market trading system that no existing set of rules is comprehensive enough to effectively curb its distortive impacts.”

He adds that with the outcome of this second USMCA dairy dispute, IDFA joins the growing number of business leaders urging the Biden-Harris administration to urgently reset its trade policy agenda.

“Against the backdrop of escalating global conflicts and food insecurity, it is imperative that the United States advance new negotiations that dismantle distortions undermining rules-based trade. It is time to re-establish the United States as a global leader in negotiating preferential trade agreements with unwavering commitments,” Dykes says. “IDFA remains committed to a rules-based, free-market trading system that promotes fair competition, transparency and global cooperation. IDFA will continue to pursue accountability for Canada’s opaque market distortions that seek to substitute imports while cross-subsidizing their own exports and continue to seek enforcement of the rules-based, free-market values to which Canada allegedly committed.”

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), says it is “profoundly disappointing” that the dispute settlement panel has ruled in favor of obstruction of trade rather than trade facilitation.

“We urge Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack to look at all available options to ensure that Canada stops playing games and respects what was negotiated,” Mulhern says, noting that since the U.S. Trade Representative initially launched the first dispute settlement case against Canada in 2021, NMPF and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) have worked with USTR, USDA and Congress to try to secure full use and value of USMCA’s dairy TRQs for American dairy producers and processors.

“By allowing Canada to ignore its USMCA obligations, this ruling has unfortunately set a dangerous and damaging precedent,” says Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “We do however want to express our appreciation for allies in Congress and the administration for their efforts and commitment to fighting for U.S. dairy. This is unfortunately not the only shortcoming in Canada’s compliance with its international commitments. We are committed to working with USTR and USDA to evaluate efforts to address Canada’s continued harmful actions that depress dairy imports while simultaneously evading USMCA’s dairy export disciplines.”

Brody Stapel, president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, says U.S. dairy was optimistic USMCA would bring new opportunities, “but both sides must play by the rules.”

“We are disappointed by the ruling but do not consider this issue settled. U.S. trade officials must continue finding ways to uphold the commitments Canada — and all U.S. trade partners — make under trade agreements,” Stapel says. “USMCA promised opportunity for American dairy farmers — an estimated 50% annual increase in export value. Unfortunately, processors of high-quality dairy products still cannot find ways to get their product onto Canadian grocery store shelves. This issue remains a key focus for Edge, and we will continue supporting U.S. trade officials in finding a path forward.”


Beehive Cheese, Gossner Foods partner on Cheddar production

December 1, 2023

UINTAH, Utah — Utah-based cheesemakers Beehive Cheese and Gossner Foods have announced plans to expand their longtime partnership to production of Beehive’s Promontory Cheddar.

Beehive Cheese has been sourcing its milk from Gossner Foods for more than 18 years. Starting in the summer of 2024, the partnership between these multi-generational, family-owned companies will expand. Using Beehive Cheese’s recipe for Promontory Cheddar, the production of whole wheels soon will take place at Gossner’s Magic Valley creamery, while all flavor rubbing and aging will continue at the Beehive Cheese creamery in Uintah, Utah.

Beehive Cheese notes that partnering with the master cheesemakers at Gossner Foods will allow it to dedicate its full attention to its signature rubbed-rind Cheddars. With no jobs being lost during this shift, Beehive Cheese will continue to oversee the cheesemaking process with the same product quality with the added opportunity for positive growth. Through its evolved partnership with Gossner Foods, Beehive Cheese will maintain full ownership of its company, quality standards, equipment and its future.

The Ford and Welsh Families founded Beehive cheese in 2005 with eight days of cheesemaking between the two of them. They built a company rooted in passion and attention to quality with a mission of sharing their award-winning cheese with as many friends as possible. Now, to do so, they need to expand their production.

“We have been working with Gossner Foods as our milk supplier since 2005,” says Beehive Cheese owner and founding partner Tim Welsh. “Because of the trust we’ve built over the years and Gossner’s example of how to thrive as a family-owned company, it was a no-brainer to explore working with them as a cheesemaking partner. Finding the way forward, this partnership with Gossner Foods removes many of the roadblocks that we’ve encountered. We can continue making award-winning cheese, minimize debt in expanding our operation, and set the stage for success for our employees and the next generation to grow and thrive.”

Second-generation leader and Beehive Cheese President, Britton Welsh, says of the partnership, “With the next generation of Beehive leadership in place, we’ve been energized to think through how to get to the next level sustainably while staying true to who we are. We’ve seen what can happen when companies sell, take on too much debt or bring in investors with different goals. Our expanded partnership with Gossner Foods allows us to produce the same high-quality cheese, maintain our company culture and preserve that thing that makes us so special.”

B Corp Certified in 2023, Beehive Cheese says this partnership will also strengthen its commitment to the certification standards, allowing integration into Gossner’s state-of-the-art water and waste conservation efforts.

The company adds working more closely with Gossner Foods is how Beehive Cheese is finding a way forward while still maintaining its integrity, staying true to its ethos and remaining a family-owned and operated company.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our experienced cheesemakers to partner with an innovative company that serves a growing niche market. Our relationship with Beehive over the last 18-plus years has remained strong because we see eye to eye on quality standards and company values. We’re looking forward to this expanded relationship,” says Kristan Earl, Gossner Foods president and CEO.


Cheesemakers offer unique gifting opportunities with Advent calendars

MADISON, Wis. — Advent calendars have been a longtime staple during the countdown to Christmas, and more recently these have branched out to include surprises other than the traditional chocolate behind the doors — from kids’s toys to beer and wine, and more recently, cheese.

Discount retailer ALDI introduced its 2023 Advent Calendar lineup beginning Nov. 1, which includes more than 20 options, such as coffee, cat treats, Legos, hard cider and imported cheese. Its 12.7-ounce Emporium Selection Advent Cheese Calendar, priced starting at $16.99 while supplies last, includes bite-sized portions of Extra Mature Cheddar, Goat Cheese, Mature Gouda, Mimolette, Mustard Gouda, Smoky Cheddar, Black Pepper Gouda, Spiced Apple Cheddar, Sweet English Cheddar, Black Truffle Cheddar, Cheddar with Port Wine and Cheddar with Whiskey.

The ALDI cheese calendars sell out quickly, and this year’s edition currently is being offered by several sellers on eBay for up to $50 plus shipping and handling.

Murray’s Cheese also offered a collection of sample-sized cheeses from around the world in its “12 Days of Murray’s Cheese” calendar, which was $65 plus shipping, but already has sold out for the season. This collection included nine 3- to 5-ounce cheese selections from England, Italy, France, Spain and Ireland, as well as four Murray’s-exclusive jams and a package of Effie’s Oatcakes.

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USDA announces next steps in efforts to bolster ag trade

November 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced next steps in USDA’s efforts to bolster U.S. agricultural trade, including the department’s planned trade missions for 2024 and the opening of a public comment period for the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). These efforts will help to support further growth in U.S. agricultural exports and introduce high-quality U.S. agricultural products to new markets.

“Market diversification is an important tool for maximizing growth opportunities for U.S. agriculture, as well as hedging the risk of market contraction and general volatility in the global marketplace,” Vilsack says. “USDA is committed to promoting export opportunities in non-traditional markets and ensuring that U.S. agricultural commodities and products are available to diverse consumer groups around the world.”

In October, Vilsack announced that USDA will use $1.3 billion from the Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) funds to establish RAPP to bolster and diversify U.S. agricultural export opportunities and strengthen support for specialty crop industries. This investment will enable American exporters to enter new markets and expand market share in current and growth markets. USDA published regulations for RAPP in the Nov. 17 Federal Register; the regulations will be open for public comment through Dec. 18 at

Continuing the work started under the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, RAPP funding will ensure that U.S. agricultural industries are able to sustain the relationships key to effective market development and will enable exporters to break into new markets and increase market share in growth markets, USDA says. RAPP participants may receive assistance for either generic or brand promotion activities as well as assistance to conduct activities to address existing or potential non-tariff barriers to trade.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will administer the RAPP on behalf of the CCC. Specific program requirements and details for applying for assistance under the RAPP will be set forth in NOFOs announced through the website.

U.S. agricultural exports totaled a record $196 billion in 2022, following a record setting year in 2021. USDA export promotion programs support efforts to continue market expansion for U.S. food and agricultural products. These programs are just one tool that USDA utilizes to ensure market access. The department has tallied numerous trade policy wins during the Biden-Harris administration that provided new opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers, including:

• Vietnam opening its market for U.S. grapefruit exporters;

• India dropping the retaliatory tariffs on apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts. The Indian government also reduced tariffs for turkey, duck, blueberries and cranberries;

• Canada approving legislative recognition of U.S. biofuels, maintaining the largest and most dependable export market for U.S. ethanol and biodiesel;

• Mexico granting market access to U.S. potatoes following more than 20 years of engagement;

• Japan renegotiating beef safeguard levels under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, reducing tariffs and generating growth opportunities for $150 million in beef exports; and,

• Brazil agreeing not to change import certification requirements, ensuring continued exports of U.S. milk, beef and seafood to this important market.

USDA plans to build on these successes and highlight export opportunities in additional markets through a robust agribusiness trade mission schedule next year, the agency says. USDA also will lead trade missions to the following markets in 2024:

• Seoul, Korea — Week of March 25, 2024;

• New Delhi, India — Week of April 22, 2024;

• Vancouver, Canada — Week of June 17, 2024;

• Bogota, Colombia — Week of July 29, 2024;

• Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (with buyers from Thailand) — Week of Sept. 9, 2024; and

• Casablanca, Morocco (with buyers from Senegal and Francophone, West Africa) — Week of Dec. 2, 2024

For more information about RAPP and agribusiness trade missions, visit


New survey’s top 2024 trends include grilled/cooked cheeses

November 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — The line between restaurant menus and home cooking is blurring, thanks to social media like TikTok where restaurant dishes become viral sensations and in the right culinary hands popular social “food fads” are translating to menus and limited time offers, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2024 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast. The report’s insights are pulled from a survey of 1,500 culinary professionals nationwide — its largest to date — who identified incorporating social media as one of the top 10 hottest trends in 2024.

The survey uncovered several broader menu trends to watch for next year as well as specific dishes, ingredients, flavors and condiments that are set to become favorites among consumers. Among the trends are grilled/cooked cheeses, such as Provoleta, Queso Fundido, Raclette, Halloumi and Juustoleipa, the survey found.

Other top trends include world stage soups and stews (birria, chicken tom kha, laksa, salmorejo and upscale ramen); global chicken wings; international BBQ; incorporating social media trends; wagyu beef; stuffed vegetables (chiles en nogada, stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage rolls); regional menus; streamlined menus; and hot honey breakfast sandwiches.

“This year’s trends are dominated by consumer craving for comfort and community with a healthy side of curiosity influenced by social media,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the association.

“Old favorites like BBQ are taking on new flavors, and social sharing is influencing the spread of regional fares like Nashville Hot. Even the chicken competition is going global on local menus.”

Across all the food categories, comfort foods ruled the day, with respondents pointing to soups and stews, stuffed vegetables and melty cheeses as next year’s hottest trends. In a sign of increasingly sophisticated preferences, natural flavors took center stage for alcoholic drinks, including botanicals like spices and herbs along with low-alcohol spirits, while drinks with perceived health and energy benefits led the way for non-alcoholic offerings.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed more than 1,500 culinary professionals in the United States from Oct. 9-23. For more information, visit


October production down 0.4% in major milk-producing states

November 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Milk production in the 24 major milk-producing states in October totaled 17.94 billion pounds, down 0.4% from one year earlier, according to data released Monday from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). For the entire United States, October milk production was estimated at 18.71 billion pounds, down 0.5% from October 2022. (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Milk Production chart on page 15.)

NASS reports September’s revised production for the 24 major states totaled 17.48 billion pounds, an increase of 17 million pounds or less than 0.1% from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

October production per cow in the 24 major states averaged 2,013 pounds, 3 pounds less than October 2022 and 52 pounds less than September. For the entire United States, production per cow for October is estimated at 1,997 pounds, 1 pound less than October 2022 and 53 pounds less than September.

NASS reports the number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major states was 8.91 million head in October, 19,000 head less than October 2022 and 5,000 head less than September. In the entire United States, there were an estimated 9.37 million milk cows in October, down 42,000 head from October 2022 and down 6,000 head from September.

California led the nation’s milk production in October with 3.32 billion pounds, down 2.6% from a year earlier. Wisconsin followed with 2.69 billion pounds of milk produced in October, up 0.9% from October 2022.


Congress passes stopgap bill including farm bill extension

November 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — Dairy industry stakeholders this week lauded passage of a stopgap funding bill that includes a one-year extension of the farm bill by the House and Senate. The measure now heads to President Biden for his signature.

The bill would avert a government shutdown that would take effect if Congress were unable to pass a funding measure by midnight tonight. The legislation would extend funding for military construction, veterans benefits, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture, FDA and energy and water programs through Jan. 19. Funding for all other federal operations, including defense, would expire Feb. 2.

Senate and House ag committee leaders Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., John Boozman, R-Ariz., Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and David Scott, D-Ga., issued a statement following passage of a farm bill extension, noting Congress remains committed to passing a five-year farm bill in 2024.

“As negotiations on funding the government progress, we were able to come together to avoid a lapse in funding for critical agricultural programs and provide certainty to producers,” the lawmakers say. “This extension is in no way a substitute for passing a five-year farm bill, and we remain committed to working together to get it done next year.”

Michael Dykes, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), notes the extension of the 2018 Farm Bill will allow important dairy-related programs to continue to operate until Sept. 30, 2024. The Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects — a dairy nutrition incentive program for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — will be eligible to receive additional appropriations to continue its significant expansion to reach more communities across the country in 2024. In addition, the farm bill extension permits USDA to restart the Dairy Forward Pricing Program as soon as the legislation is signed into law by the president, avoiding the need for a time-consuming rulemaking process similar to the one that was required to “restart” the program after it lapsed in 2018, Dykes says.

“While the bill gives Congress another year to pass a strong farm bill, it only keeps the lights on at USDA and FDA for another two months. IDFA urges Congress to pass a fiscal year 2024 funding bill that fully funds Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects, retains milk and dairy benefit levels for WIC moms and children, and maintains dairy’s central role in the federal school meals program,” Dykes adds.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew says NFU also is encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for an extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, but it urges Congress to channel that success toward getting a new farm bill done in a timely fashion.

“Family farmers and ranchers must have clarity about the status of farm programs to make informed planting and business decisions heading into the next growing season, and an extension accomplishes that in the short term. We will continue working to craft and pass a five-year farm bill that provides strong support for family farmers, ranchers and our communities,” Larew says.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which earlier this week sent a letter to all members of Congress urging passage of the continuing resolution that included the farm bill extension, says AFBF is grateful Congress passed a farm bill extension to avoid serious program disruptions.

“We encourage President Biden to sign it. However, we urge both the House and Senate to stay focused on a new, modernized farm bill that recognizes the many changes and challenges of the past five years,” Duvall says.

“The current farm bill was written before the pandemic, before inflation spiked and before global unrest sent shock waves through the food system,” he continues. “We need programs that reflect today’s realities. So much work has been done by the agriculture committees in both the House and Senate over the past 18 months to prepare to craft a smart and effective farm bill. Congress must keep that momentum going. While an extension is necessary, they’re running out of time to write a new bill. We need a new farm bill in early 2024. The farm bill affects every American by helping to ensure a safe, stable and affordable food supply. Let’s make sure we get it right in 2024.”


Sen. Schumer calls for further action on milk carton shortage

November 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., this week called on USDA to take action on the national milk carton shortage hitting dairy farmers and schools in New York and states across the country. Schumer urged USDA to not only ensure New York dairy farmers have the technical support they need to get through the shortage, but also to work with industry leaders to devise creative solutions to get milk to school lunchrooms and to investigate the shortage to stop disruptions like this from happening in the future and minimize downstream impacts.

“Milk is an essential part of our students’ school lunches and the lifeblood of our Upstate New York agricultural economy, but with a national milk carton shortage looming over our schools, now is the time for the USDA to step up to ensure our farmers get more support to continue their essential work. That is why I am calling on the USDA to start to work with industry leaders to address this shortage we are seeing nationwide and provide all the leadership and technical support needed to help our dairy farmers,” Schumer says. “The USDA is uniquely positioned to investigate this problem from a national level and work with the dairy industry, our farmers and schools to mitigate the impacts of shortages and propose solutions.”

Schumer notes that while there is not a shortage of milk, there is a supply chain problem with the cardboard cartons, consequently inhibiting suppliers’ ability to provide milk to schools and other customers across the country. In school lunchrooms, milk is required to be served with every meal according to USDA nutrition standards. While schools currently are working with suppliers to figure out temporary solutions to ensure schools are receiving enough milk and students’ nutritional needs are being met, Schumer says now is the time for the USDA to work with industry and dairy farmers to find solutions. It is currently unclear how long the shortage could last, which is why Schumer says it’s imperative the USDA take immediate action and proactively work on the problem to ensure that farmers and dairy suppliers have the support and technical assistance needed to minimize the impacts of the shortage on their business and ensure milk can continue to be provided to schools across America.

“Given the potential downstream impacts of disruptions to the milk packaging supply chain, we also need the USDA to investigate the causes of this carton shortage to determine how we can avoid further disruptions to our dairy farmers and any further steps we can be taking to mitigate problems of this nature in the future,” Schumer adds.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently issued a memorandum to state and regional directors of child nutrition programs noting the agency is aware that schools in multiple states are experiencing milk supply chain challenges related to packaging issues. This memorandum provides state agencies with information about existing authority related to schools and other child nutrition program operators experiencing inadequate milk supply. FNS encourages state agencies to use this authority when needed to support program operators impacted by current milk packaging challenges.

Under current program regulations, state agencies may allow program operators experiencing milk supply shortages to serve meals during an emergency period with an alternate form of fluid milk or without fluid milk. Although program operators are expected to meet the fluid milk requirements to the greatest extent possible, supply chain disruptions, including disruptions that limit milk variety or affect serving size, would be considered a temporary emergency condition for purposes of this flexibility. Because this is an existing regulatory flexibility, a waiver is not required for state agencies to exercise this authority. (See “USDA will allow flexibilities for child nutrition programs facing milk supply shortages” in the Nov. 3, 2023, issue of Cheese Market News.)

John T. Gould, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. president and chairman of the board of directors, says the cooperative thanks Schumer for his support in recognizing the critical importance of milk in the nutritional needs of children and adults.

“We appreciate his efforts and concern in solving this packaging dilemma in a timely fashion. Our 260 dairy farm families are encouraged by our team’s efforts to continue to supply our milk to our school customers. It has required hard work, coordination and cooperation to meet their needs,” Gould says.


Prairie Farms’ Swiss receives Chairman’s Award at contest

November 17, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. — Top winners were named at this week’s National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) 2023 Cheese Contest at the organization’s annual meeting here. The Caves of Faribault Team at Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Faribault, Minnesota, received the contest’s Chairman’s Award for Cave Aged Rinded Swiss. Prairie Farms also received the Best Italian cheese recognition for its Pasteurized Blue Cheese.

The Reserve Chairman award went to Team Menomonie at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, for Pepperoni with Marinara Rub. Best Cheddar went to the Tillamook Team at Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), Tillamook, Oregon, for Makers Reserve Extra Sharp White Cheddar 2014; Best Cottage Cheese went to Kemps LLC/Dairy Farmers of America, Farmington, Minnesota, for Peach; and Best Yogurt went to Cabot Creamery Cooperative/Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, for Triple Cream Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt.
The top three finishers in each category at this year’s contest are:

• Mild Cheddar

First: Steve Voss, Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), Sanborn, Iowa, Mild
Second: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Middlebury, Vermont, Mild Cheddar M

Third: Justin Larson, Bongards’ Creameries, Perham, Minnesota, Mild Colored Cheddar

• Medium Cheddar

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Middlebury, Vermont, Medium Cheddar C

Second: Steve Voss, AMPI, Sanborn, Iowa, Medium

Third: Ankit Patel, Land O’Lakes Inc., Kiel, Wisconsin, Cheddar-Medium

• Sharp Cheddar

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Middlebury, Vermont, Sharp Cheddar C

Second: Timothy Stearns, Land O’Lakes Inc., Kiel, Wisconsin, Mild Cheddar-Sharp

Third: John Sigrist, AMPI, Blair, Wisconsin, Sharp

• Extra Sharp Cheddar

First: Tillamook Team, TCCA, Tillamook, Oregon, Makers Reserve Extra Sharp White Cheddar 2014

Second: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Middlebury, Vermont, Extra Sharp Cheddar M2

Third: Tillamook Team, TCCA, Tillamook, Oregon, English Style Sweet Cheddar

• Mozzarella

First: Hailey Boland, Foremost Farms USA, Richland Center, Wisconsin, LMPS 2

Second: Hailey Boland, Foremost Farms USA, Richland Center, Wisconsin, LMPS 5

Third: Hailey Boland, Foremost Farms USA, Richland Center, Wisconsin, LMPS 6

• Provolone

First: Bryan Allen, Foremost Farms USA, Clayton, Wisconsin, Provolone Non-Smoked Lipase 4-inch RND (Vat #7)

Second: Bryan Allen, Foremost Farms USA, Clayton, Wisconsin, Provolone Smoked Lipase 4-inch RND (Vat #6)

Third: Pat White, Foremost Farms USA, Appleton, Wisconsin, Provolone

• Hard and Mold-Ripened Italian

First: Prairie Farms/Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Faribault, Minnesota, Pasteurized Blue Cheese

Second: Team Mindoro, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Mindoro, Wisconsin, Heat Treated Gorgonzola

Third: Team Mindoro, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Mindoro, Wisconsin, Pasteurized Blue Cheese

• Natural

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Chateaugay, New York, Colby

Second: Team Menomonie, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, Colby Jack

Third: Pat White, Foremost Farms USA, Appleton, Wisconsin, Muenster

• Swiss

First: Prairie Farms/Caves of Faribault Team, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Faribault, Minnesota, Cave Aged Rinded Swiss

Second: Luana Plant, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Luana, Iowa, Swiss

Third: Luana Plant, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Luana, Iowa, Baby Swiss

• Processed American Plain

First: Team Loaf, Land O’Lakes Inc., Spencer, Wisconsin, 48144
Reduced Sodium

Second: Team Loaf, Land O’Lakes Inc., Spencer, Wisconsin, 48300 Italian Blend

Third: Slice B-Shift, Bongards’ Creameries, Norwood Young America, Minnesota, Processed American Slice on Slice

• Processed American Flavored

First: Loaf Day-Shift, Bongards’ Creameries, Norwood Young America, Minnesota, Processed American Deli Loaf with Jalapeno Peppers

Second: Team New London, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, New London, Wisconsin, Flavored-Hot Pepper EZ Melt

Third: Team Loaf, Land O’Lakes Inc., Spencer, Wisconsin, 48364 LOL Hot Pepper

• Hot or Spicy Flavor

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, Habanero Cheddar

Second: Team Menomonie, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, Habanero Ghost Jack-HOT

Third: Dena Boiteau, AMPI, Jim Falls, Wisconsin, Pepper Jack

• Unique or Mild Flavor

First: Team Menomonie, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, Pepperoni with Marinara Rub

Second: Team Menomonie, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, Garden Vegetable with Sweet Basil Rub

Third: Team Menomonie, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Menomonie, Wisconsin, Roasted Garlic with Tomato Basil Rub

• Open Class

First: Luana Plant, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Luana, Iowa, Neufchatel

Second: Luana Plant, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Luana, Iowa, Cream Cheese

Third: Vermont Creamery, Land O’Lakes Inc., Websterville, Vermont, Mascarpone

• Reduced Fat

First: Bryan Allen, Foremost Farms USA, Clayton, Wisconsin, Provolone Reduced Fat Smoked Lipase 4-inch RND (Vat #2)

Second: Bryan Allen, Foremost Farms USA, Clayton, Wisconsin, Provolone Reduced Fat Smoked Lipase 4-inch RND (Vat #3)

Third: Hailey Boland, Foremost Farms USA, Richland Center, Wisconsin, NCMZ 2

• Cottage Cheese

First: Quincy Team, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Quincy, Illinois, Small Curd 4%

Second: Hiland, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Chandler, Oklahoma, Regular Small Curd

Third: Darigold Issaquah Cheese Cooks, Northwest Dairy Association, Issaquah, Washington, Regular (4%) Small Curd

• Reduced Fat Cottage Cheese

First: Harold Eden, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Wichita, Kansas, 2% Small Curd

Second: Darigold Issaquah Cheese Cooks, Northwest Dairy Association, Issaquah, Washington, Reduced Fat (2%) Small Curd

Third: Aaron M, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, Small Curd 2%

• Flavored Cottage Cheese

First: Kemps LLC, Dairy Farmers of America, Farmington, Minnesota, Peach

Second: Darigold Issaquah Cheese Cooks, Northwest Dairy Association, Issaquah, Washington, Flavored-Pineapple Reduced Fat (2%) Small Curd

Third: Kemps LLC, Dairy Farmers of America, Farmington, Minnesota, Chive

• Natural Cheese Snack First: Team Ellsworth, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth, Wisconsin, Dill Pickle Cheddar Cheese Curds

Second: Donovan Taylor, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Chipotle Cheddar Curd

Third: Burnett Dairy Team, Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, Smoked String Cheese

• Processed Cheese Snack

First: Team Custom, Land O’Lakes Inc., Spencer, Wisconsin, 48238 Extra Melt with Peppers (PP)

Second: Team Custom, Land O’Lakes Inc., Spencer, Wisconsin, 39050 Extra Melt White (PP)

• Yogurt-Plain

First: Ruben Juan, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, Plain

Second: Howard Hughes, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Wichita, Kansas, Plain

• Yogurt-Flavored

First: Howard Hughes, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Wichita, Kansas, Lemon

Second: Ruben Juan, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, Flavored-Peach

Third: Howard Hughes, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., Wichita, Kansas, Peach

• Yogurt-Greek Plain

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, 10% Plain Greek Yogurt

Second: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, 2% Plain Greek Yogurt

• Yogurt-Greek Flavored

First: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, Triple Cream Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt

Second: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Agri-Mark Inc., Cabot, Vermont, 2% Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Third: Upstate Farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., West Seneca, New York, Greek Non-Fat Vanilla.


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Today's Cheese Spot Trading
Dec. 1, 2023

Barrels: $1.5200 (+1)
Blocks: $1.5200 (-2)

Click here for more market activity

Cheese Production
U.S. Total Sept.
1.152 bil. lbs.

Milk Production
U.S. Total Oct.
18.710 bil. lbs.

Guest Columnist

Fight back against raw milk fringe

Rebekah Sweeney, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

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