Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, Vt., took top honors at the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) 2018 Conference & Competition, which took place July 25-28 in Pittsburgh. The company’s Harbison was named Best of Show among almost 2,000 entries, ACS said.

Second-place Best of Show went to Calderwood, also from Jasper Hill, while third-place Best of Show was awarded to Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from Cows Creamery of Prince Edward Island, Canada, ACS noted.

“What a thrill! These wins represent the efforts of many dedicated people, from our cropping crew and herdsmen, through production and affinage, to sales and support,” said Mateo Kehler, cheesemaker at Jasper Hill.

Growing from just 89 entries 35 years ago, the competition this year welcomed 1,954 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 259 companies representing 35 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. ACS said it awarded a total of 364 medals, including 103 gold medals, 124 silver medals and 137 bronze medals. Wisconsin boasts the most award winners (92), followed by California (53) and Vermont (34).

“This year’s competition once again featured the very best cheeses and cheesemakers in the Americas,” said Nora Weiser, ACS’ executive director. “This diversity of cheeses displays the skill and passion of American cheesemakers.”

New this year, a “Boss of the Brunch” special recognition was given to Herbed Rose Butter from Cherry Valley Dairy, Duvall, Wash., ACS noted.