Aged cheddar submitted by master cheesemaker Terry Lensmire for Agropur of Weyauwega is the 2017 first runner-up in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, which wrapped up Thursday night in the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay.
Lensmire’s cheddar in the “aged one to two years” category scored 98.813 in the championship round. The U.S. Champion title went to a reserve black pepper BellaVitano by Mike Matucheski for Sartori of Antigo.
The cheeses were among 20 finalists that were selected from among 2,303 cheeses, butters, and yogurts from 33 states that were entered for technical evaluation. Lensmire had already earned a Best in Class and two third awards for Agropur of Luxemburg.
In addition to receiving Best in Class for the aged cheddar, Lensmire’s feta with peppercorn for Weyauwega earned a second award in the “Feta, Flavored” category, and his reduced-fat feta won a third award in the category of “Reduced Fat Soft & Semi-soft Cheeses.”
According to the Agropur website, Lensmire has 40 years of cheesemaking experience. His official bio:
Terry learned the art of cheesemaking from his father and grandfather and received his Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certifications for Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses. He is considered one of the country’s most experienced cheesemakers and has shared his experience through seminars in Wisconsin, California and Minnesota, and by working with University of Wisconsin-Madison professors. His certification is a “sign of commitment,” he says. “I’m committed to obtaining more knowledge about cheesemaking and applying the knowledge.”