Dairy processors, marketers, and suppliers raised a record $339,835 for dairy education at the 2023 Chr. Hansen Championship Cheese Auction, taking place at CheeseCon in Madison, Wis. The funds support industry training programs offered by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), as well as the World and U.S. Championship Cheese Contests and university dairy training centers.

“Each year we see the generosity of the dairy processing industry come to life at the Auction, and this year’s bidders broke the record yet again to benefit the next generation of leaders,” said WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer. “Our sincerest thanks go to all those who raised their paddles to contribute to the scholarships and education that help grow and strengthen our industry.”

For over 25 years, Auction dollars have supported emerging dairy professionals through WCMA’s Mike Dean and Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarships. Funds raised at the Auction have also helped fund WCMA’s popular training programs for dairy manufacturers and suppliers, and fueled donations to build the new world-class Center for Dairy Research facility in Madison, as well as dairy pilot plants at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and South Dakota State University. Thanks to generous Auction bids, the World and U.S. Championship Cheese Contests and the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest improve and grow each year. Altogether, WCMA has invested $1.3 million in the next generation of the dairy processing industry.

This year’s Auction featured a total of 79 gold medal cheeses, butters, and yogurts from the 2023 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, organized into 42 lots. WCMA sincerely thanks all of the winning bidders for their generous support: Advanced Process Technologies Inc.; Atlantic Grain; ALPMA, Cheese Market News; the Marvin & Debra Cherney Family Foundation; Chr. Hansen; Complete Filtration Resources; Custom Fabricating & Repair; Cybertrol Engineering; Dairy Connection, Inc.; Dairy Products Marketing; Darlington Dairy Supply; DSM Food Specialties; G&R Foods; Great Lakes Cheese; Hydrite; Kelley Supply, Inc.; Loos Machine & Automation; Marquez Brothers International; Masters Gallery Foods; Nelson-Jameson; Novak’s Cheese; ProActive Solutions USA; RELCO, a Koch Separation Solutions Company; Sugar River Cold Storage; T.C. Jacoby; TC Transcontinental; and Wisconsin Aging & Grading Cheese.