Celebrating 25 years of cheesemaking excellence

Wausau, Wis., (WSAW) -- This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® Program, honoring a quarter-century of cheesemaking excellence in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program® is the most rigorous, advanced training program for licensed cheesemakers, and the only one of its kind outside Europe.

To show us how to make delicious dishes featuring Master’s Mark cheeses including Grilled Chicken Salad and Steak and Blue Cheese Slaw Wraps the News at Noon was joined by with Beth Schaefer with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

Since the program’s inception, cheeses made by a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® have earned a distinctive “Master’s Mark.” This logo signified that experience, technical expertise and artistry went into making that cheese, and that it was from the only place in America where cheesemakers could become true Masters of their craft – Wisconsin.

Why choose a cheese made by a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker? Because behind that distinctive blue Master's Mark® on the label is an assurance of quality that you just cannot get anywhere else. That mark, which can only be used by certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers who've earned it, tells quite a story.

The Master Cheesemaker Mark tells you that experience, technical expertise and artistry went into making that cheese. It means you've chosen the best cheese from the only place in America where cheese makers can become true Masters of their craft – Wisconsin.

Requirements for the distinguished Master Cheesemaker status:
• Participants must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years' experience working at a plant that participates in the Quality Assurance Program.
• Made the cheese variety for which they seek certification for at least five years.
• Complete required courses in cheese technology, artisanship, grading and quality assurance.
• Complete elective courses that range from applied dairy chemistry, to water and waste management, to whey and whey utilization.
• Participate in a three-year apprenticeship during which time he or she must submit samples of cheese for evaluation of quality and consistency.
• Pass a rigorous final written examination.

Grilled Chicken Salad-
- Featuring Sartori's most requested cheese, BellaVitano combines the rich and creamy flavor of a young Cheddar cheese with the savory, crystalline crunch of a premium aged Parmesan.
- A unique tasting experience, this award-winning, rich and creamy cheese features the berry and plum flavor notes of Merlot wine. It’s an excellent choice for pairing with warm, crusty breads or dried nuts and fruits on a cheeseboard
- Sartori Cheese has 3 Master Cheesemakers on staff.

Steak and Blue Cheese Slaw Wraps
Blue cheese is the perfect match for savory grilled steak. The creamy cheese is handcrafted and has a sharp blue flavor with a smooth finish. For an added treat, round out this entree with a bold red wine.
- Schuman’s Montforte™ Blue cheese is the perfect match for savory grilled steak. The creamy cheese is handcrafted in small batches and cave aged; it has a sharp blue flavor with a smooth finish. For an added treat, round out this entree with a bold red wine.