Six Wisconsin cheesemakers have completed their apprenticeships and are now certified as Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research. They are:
Walt Brandli, a cheesemaker at the Babcock Hall dairy plant at the UW-Madison: Master Cheesemaker certification in Baby Swiss and Gouda cheeses.
Sid Cook, a cheesemaker at Carr Valley Cheese and Wisconsin”s Pride Cheese: Master Cheesemaker certification in Cheddar and Fontina cheeses.
Ken DeMaa, a cheesemaker at Alto Dairy Cooperative in Waupun: Master Cheesemaker certification in Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses.
Jamie Fahrney, a cheesemaker at Chalet Cheese in Monroe: Master Cheesemaker certification in Baby Swiss and Brick cheeses.
Gary Grossen, a cheesemaker at Prairie Hill Cheese in Monroe: Master Cheesemaker certification in Brick and Muenster cheeses.
Allan Scott, a cheesemaker at Land O” Lakes in Denmark: Master Cheesemaker certification in Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses.
The new Master Cheesemakers were honored at a ceremony April 25 in Madison. Also recognized were three current Master Cheesemakers who earned certification in additional cheeses:
Kurt Heitmann of Alto Dairy Cooperative, certified in Colby and Monterey Jack.
Kerry Henning of Henning”s Cheese Inc., certified in Colby and Monterey Jack.
Bruce Workman of Roth Kase USA Ltd, certified in Butter Kase and Havarti.
Developed by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program is the first advanced education program for cheesemakers in the United States. Following in the European tradition, a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker is the highest honor a cheesemaker can achieve.
The program requires dedication and personal commitment to the cheesemaking process. To be accepted into the program, a cheesemaker must hold a Wisconsin cheesemaker”s license for a minimum of 10 years before beginning the three-year apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship, the cheesemaker completes eight courses offered by the Center for Dairy Research.
Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers are prepared to compete internationally as cheesemakers and strengthen Wisconsin”s competitive position in specialty cheese markets. The program is jointly sponsored by the Center for Dairy Research, UW-Extension, and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.