Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers class of 2023 announced

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research have announced the 2023 graduating class of Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers, according to Cision PR Newswire. Collectively, the class earned certifications in cheddar, blue cheese, mozzarella, and curds.

The graduates include Kirk Auchue of Saputo Cheese and Black Creek in Fond du Lac, Timothy Stearns of Land O’Lakes in Kiel, Tony Hook of Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point, Ben Shibler of Pagel’s Ponderosa/Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese in Kewaunee, and returner Ryan LaGrander of LaGrander’s Hillside Dairy in Stanley.

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program, the only education program of its kind in the U.S., was established in 1994 and has certified just over 90 masters out of over 1,200 cheesemakers in the state. The program is rigorous and requires dedication, including a minimum of 13 years of cheesemaking, in addition to coursework and exams.