The World Cheese Awards (WCA) is one of the most respected competitions in the world, attracting thousands of entries each year. Last year’s edition drew a record-breaking 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) noted. The United States came in an impressive 4th place, winning 89 medals.

In 2019, the WCA will take place on Oct. 18 in Bergamo, Italy, and Arlington, Va.-based USDEC — under its new customer-facing marketing entity, the USA Cheese Guild — said it will be sponsoring the Best USA Cow’s Milk Cheese trophy, a high honor and one of a select number of trophies awarded during the competition.

To further the U.S. representation across this year’s competition, USDEC said it will be supporting U.S. cheesemakers by covering the entry costs for cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based mixed milk cheeses produced in the United States. Processors may showcase their superior skills and impress the world with a wide display of exceptional U.S. cheeses by entering their best products into the competition.

USDEC said is making it easy to join the strong U.S. representation in the competition, and no export capabilities are required. The United States has a tremendous history of quality cheesemaking and creativity to serve global needs, but that story is not well known outside the country’s borders. USDEC is getting the word out by increasing the spotlight on specialty cheesemaking, including a gallery to tell the story behind the cheeses. 

To join the movement, participants simply need to send their best cheeses to a pre-appointed consolidation point, and USDEC will handle it from there. All cheese varieties are welcome, but large bulk-style cheeses must be cut down and packaged into smaller 1-pound to 4.5-pound blocks. However, full artisan wheels may be accepted so as not to jeopardize the overall integrity and aesthetic of the cheese, USDEC said.

Contest entries will need to be registered in July, and more information will be provided soon. But for now, interested cheesemakers should take the following steps:

  • Select their best U.S. cow’s milk or cow’s milk-based mixed milk cheeses for entry into the competition.
  • Reach out to Ryan Hopkin ( to register and confirm the number, varieties, names and estimated weight of the cheeses they plan to enter. Cheesemakers must register with USDEC in order to benefit from the entry assistance.

For more information about the WCA, please follow this link.