DENVER, Colo. — Four Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) cheeses earned first place recognition at the 34th annual American Cheese Society (ACS) Competition this past Friday in Denver, CO:
- ‘Claire’s Mandell Hill’ and ‘Greta’s Fair Haven’ AWA goat milk cheeses from Ruggles Hill Creamery, MA, won first place in the Farmstead Cheese with Flavor Added–all milks, as well as the Farmstead Category Aged 60 days or more–made from goat’s milk categories.
- ‘Woolly Rind,’ an AWA sheep milk cheese from Green Dirt Farm, MO, won first place for the Sheep’s Milk Cheese aged 31 to 60 days category.
- ‘Ricotta Salata Vecchio’ made from AWA cow’s milk at Caputo Brothers Creamery, PA, won first place in the Traditional Regional Italian Cheeses–all milks category.
This year’s American Cheese Society Award winners were announced on Friday, July 28, at the 34th Annual ACS Conference in Denver. Winners were selected from over 2,024 entries of cheese and cultured dairy products from 281 companies across 36 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, as well as states in Mexico and Colombia.
Ruggles Hill Creamery took home a total of five awards, including two awards in the Fresh Goat’s Milk Cheese Aged 0 to 30 Days category. Green Dirt Farm also took home five awards, including two awards in the Sheep’s Milk Cheese Aged 31 to 60 days category. Additional winners include:
- ‘Black Goat’ made with AWA goat’s milk from Prairie Fruits and Farm Creamery, IL, won third place in the Farmstead Category Aged Less Than 60 Days–all milks category.
- ‘Slyboro,’ an AWA goat milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm, VT, won second place in the Open Category–Washed Rind Cheeses Aged More Than 60 Days–Up to 42% Moisture–goat’s milk category.
- ‘Atika,’ made with AWA goat and AWA sheep milk from Toluma Farms and Tomales Farmstead Creamery, CA, won third place in the Open Category–Washed Rind Cheeses Aged More Than 60 Days–Up to 42% moisture–made from mixed or other milks category.
- ‘Bearded Lady,’ an AWA goat milk cheese from Prodigal Farm, NC, won third place in the External Blue-Molded Cheeses–all milks category. Additionally, Kathryn Spann of Prodigal Farm was elected to the American Cheese Society Board of Directors for the next two years.
Acknowledged by Consumer Reports as the only “highly meaningful” food label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability, Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is an independent, nonprofit farm certification–and one of the nation’s Top 5 fastest growing food label claims. Over the last five years, AWA farmers have consecutively won awards at the American Cheese Society Competition, as well as at regional and national food competitions, demonstrating the clear link between high-welfare, pasture-based management and the quality and taste of the dairy, meat and eggs the animals produce. AWA is a program of A Greener World.
2017 Winner Tricia Smith, Cheesemaker at Ruggles Hill Creamery, says,
“Our cheeses are awarded, I believe, because they reflect the well-being of our Animal Welfare Approved goats. The goats forage our farm’s fine pastures and sloped lush woodlands, the basis for their superb milk.”
A Greener World Executive Director Andrew Gunther says,
“We couldn’t be more proud of our AWA farms’ success in this year’s ACS competition. Their achievements demonstrate that high-welfare, sustainable farming equals great-tasting, award-winning food. These awards not only reflect the skill and dedication of the farmers and cheesemakers, but reinforce the link between the highest standards of animal care and environmental management, and the quality of food produced.”
ABOUT A GREENER WORLD
A Greener World (AGW) promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and informing consumers. AGW’s growing portfolio of trusted certifications includes Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Non-GMO by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW. Each program is designed to have positive and measurable impacts on the environment, society and animals, and to encourage truly sustainable farming practices. AGW’s standards and procedures are robust and transparent, yet realistic and achievable for farmers.
AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an Online Directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed–a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print, online and as a smartphone app). For more information visit agreenerworld.org.
ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED
Consumer Reports has acknowledged Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) as the only “highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability. All standards, policies and procedures are available on the AWA website, which along with AWA’s ISO 17065 accreditation demonstrates the highest level of transparency and accountability. AWA is a program of A Greener World, the nonprofit home of America’s leading food labels.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHEESE SOCIETY
The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. Over 1,500 members strong, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development, and networking opportunities for cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts, and extended industry. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For more information, visit www.cheesesociety.org.
— A Greener World
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