SOURCE: Oregon Dairy Product Commission

August 05, 2008 14:29 ET

Oregon Artisan Cheese Makers Capture National Recognition at American Cheese Society Annual 2008 Conference Competition

National Awards Point to Growing Potential for Oregon Cheese Makers in Rapidly Expanding Specialty, Farmstead, and Artisan Cheese Industry

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - August 5, 2008) - Oregon artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese makers placed among the top national honors awarded during the American Cheese Society's 2008 Annual Cheese Competition, winning a total of 15 awards. The awards point to the rapidly expanding recognition of Oregon's cheese makers in regional, national, and international markets.

The honors were announced July 25th at the American Cheese Society's 25th Annual Conference, held July 23-25 in Chicago.

Winning Oregon cheese makers placed in eight categories and 13 subcategories. Included were: Rogue Creamery, Central Point; Tillamook County Creamery Assn., Tillamook; Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Salem; Rivers Edge Chevre, Logsden; Tumalo Farms, Tumalo.

"It's just unbelievable how far we've come as a state in just the past six years," said Cary Bryant, co-owner of Rogue Creamery. "Who would have thought back then that we would be here today on the national scene, gaining national recognition, and playing an integral role in the advancement of artisan and specialty cheeses across the country."

The judging is one of the nation's largest cheese competitions and one of the more respected and unique events in the United States. The American Cheese Society recognizes only the highest quality cheeses based on both aesthetics (flavor, aroma, and texture) and technical accomplishments. Some 30 cheese specialists judged the 2008 competition, which included 1,149 entries representing cheese makers from 30 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.

Oregon's growth in artisan cheeses includes the founding of the Oregon Cheese Guild in 2006 (including cow, goat, and sheep's milk cheeses), and program support from Oregon State University Dairy Processing Extension Service, Oregon Department of Agriculture's Food Innovation Center, and the Oregon Dairy Products Commission.

The American Cheese Society is an active, not-for-profit trade organization that encourages the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead and natural specialty cheeses produced in the Americas and Canada. Additional information about the American Cheese Society and its competition can be viewed at

About the Oregon Cheese Guild

Founded in 2006, the Oregon Cheese Guild is dedicated to the art and craft of making cheese. The Guild is a collaborative effort to help cheese makers network, create educational opportunities and benefit from participating in economies of scale. The Guild is committed to growing its loyal base of artisan cheese lovers by educating consumers on high-quality handmade, farmstead and specialty cheeses. Membership is limited to farmstead, artisan and commercial cheese makers.

Oregon Dairy Products Commission

The Oregon Dairy Products Commission works on behalf of 320 dairy farm families who, with the help of 115,000 dairy cows and 20 Oregon dairy processors, provide award-winning cheeses, milk, butter, and an extensive line of premium ice cream, sour cream and yogurt. Milk is the official state beverage of Oregon, and Oregon milk is recognized nationwide as a leader in the United States for milk quality. The Oregon dairy industry is a community-conscious, caring business that contributes more than $1 billion to Oregon's economic well being each year. Oregon dairy producers care about their cows, their communities, and the land, air and water of Oregon.

2008 American Cheese Competition Awards

Oregon Winners by Category & Subcategory

Soft Ripened Cheeses
Flavor Added:  Spices, Herbs, Seasoning, Fruits, etc.
2nd Place:  River's Edge Chevre, Sunset Bay

American Made/International Style
Flavor Added Dutch Style - Spices, Herbs, Seasonings, Fruits
2nd Place:  Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Cumin Gouda

Aged Cheddars, All Milks (aged between 12 and 24 months)
3rd Place:  Tillamook County Creamery Assn., White Cheddar

Cheddars with Sweet Flavorings, Fruits, Seasonings, Herbs, Spices,
2nd Place:  Rogue Creamery, Chocolate Stout Cheddar

Cheddar from Cow's Milk (aged less than 12 months)
2nd  Place:  Tillamook County Creamery Assn., White Cheddar
3rd Place:  Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Farmstead Cheddar

Mature Cheddars (aged between 25 and 48 months)
1st Place:  Tillamook County Creamery Assn., White Cheddar

Blue Mold Cheeses
Blue-Veined Made from Cow's Milk
2nd Place:  Rogue Creamery, Oregon Blue
3nd Place:  Rogue Creamery, Crater Lake Blue

Blue-Veined Made from Sheep's Milk or Mixed Milks
1st Place:  Rogue Creamery, Echo Mountain Blue

Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheeses
Fresh Unripened:  Queso Blanco (including Queso de Puna and Campesino),
Queijo Blanco, Acoreano, Quesadilla, Queso Crema, Queso Andino - All Milks
2nd Place:  Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Queso Fresco

Flavored Cheeses
Cheeses Flavored with Crushed or Whole Peppercorns or Savory Spices - All
3rd Place:  Tumalo Farms, Capricorns

Open Category Made from Goat's Milk
3rd Place:  Tumalo Farms, Pondhopper

Smoked Cheeses
Open Category Made from Goat's Milk
2nd Place:  River's Edge Chevre, Up in Smoke

Farmstead Cheeses
Open Category Goat's Milk Cheeses (aged 60 days or more)
1st Place:  Tumalo Farms, Classico

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Becky Leung
    for Oregon Dairy Products Commission
    c/o Koopman Ostbo Communications
    Email Contact

    Francis Plowman
    for Oregon Cheese Guild
    c/o Rogue Creamery
    541-665-1155 x123
    Email Contact