The live, virtual Championship Cheese Auction, part of the Chr. Hansen Spotlight Event on April 7 during CheeseExpo Global Online, raised $39,125 for Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) scholarship programs and industry educational opportunities, as well as the World and U.S. Championship Cheese Contests, WCMA said.

“The Championship Cheese Auction is always a highlight of CheeseExpo, and this year’s virtual event offered a moment of camaraderie and celebration, along with the opportunity to support training for the dairy processing industry’s next generation,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA’s executive director.

The 2021 Championship Cheese Auction featured 10 cheeses, all previous winners of the World or U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, from Dan Stearns of Agropur Inc.; Cabot Creamery Cooperative; Emmi Roth USA; FrieslandCampina; Gourmino & Michael Spycher, Bergkäserei Fritzenhaus; Guggisberg Cheese; LaClare Farms & Mosaic Meadows; Marieke Gouda; Sartori Co.; and Savencia Fromage & Dairy, WCMA noted.

WCMA said it thanks the successful Championship Cheese Auction bidders, including Great Lakes Cheese Co., Kelley Supply Inc., DSM Food Specialties USA Inc., Brian Eggebrecht and the B-Team, Nelson-Jameson Inc., Chr. Hansen Inc. and ALPMA USA.

“Our thanks go to Auction bidders for participating with generosity and enthusiasm,” said Umhoefer. “In celebrating cheesemaking excellence, they are also ensuring dairy’s future is strong, with a well-trained, highly skilled workforce.”

In recent years, WCMA has contributed $1.4 million to building and development projects at the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the dairy processing plant renovation project at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and facility improvements at South Dakota State University. WCMA said it also offers popular leadership skills training for front-line supervisors and managers working in dairy processing, and awards $25,000 per year in student scholarships.