2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

A Greener World

Top national dairy awards prove sustainable farming equals great food

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) producers, Green Dirt Farm, and Certified Grassfed by AGW, Pure Éire Dairy, are recent award winners at the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. The 20th biennial competition was hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and award winners will receive handmade plaques on April 18th at a banquet ceremony during the Cheese Industry Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

Pure Éire Dairy won Best of Class for their ‘Organic, 100% Grass-Fed Lemon Whole Milk Yogurt’ in the Yogurt, Flavored — Cow’s Milk category. Green Dirt Farm took home two awards including Best of Class for their ‘Fresh Plain’ in the Soft Sheep’s Milk Cheeses category and third place for ‘Dirt Lover’ in the Surface (Mold) Ripened Sheep’s Milk Cheeses category.

The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the country. Winners were selected by a team of skilled technical judges from a record-setting 2,555 entries from 35 states. The cheese and dairy products were judged on March 5-6, 2019, at Lambeau Field.

Green Dirt Farm and Pure Éire Dairy received awards in recognition of their delicious and vibrant cheeses and dairy products, which they make using only Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW milk. Pure Éire Dairy is also Certified Grassfed by AGW, which is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW leading welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.

Acknowledged by Consumer Reports as the only “highly meaningful” food label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is an independent, nonprofit farm certification–and one of the nation’s Top 5 fastest growing food label claims.



2019 Winner Sarah Hoffmann, Managing Director at Green Dirt Farm, says,

“The artisan cheese business can be highly challenging throughout the year, in spite of working really hard, we have failures and low-points. We’re absolutely delighted to take home two awards, it makes all the effort worth it!”

2019 Winner Jill Smith, Co-owner of Pure Éire Dairy, says,

“We are honored to showcase our Certified Grassfed by AGW dairy products on a national stage. We were up against large, national brands, which was rather intimidating, but we have always been confident about how we raise our cattle and the quality of grassfed milk they produce.”

Andrew Gunther, A Greener World Executive Director, says,

“We couldn’t be prouder of Pure Éire Dairy and Green Dirt Farm’s success in the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. It’s no coincidence: high-welfare, sustainable farming equals great tasting, award-winning food. These awards demonstrate the link between high levels of animal care, good environmental management and the quality of food produced.”

Green Dirt Farm sells their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep’s milk cheeses at restaurants and retailers across the U.S., as well as at their Farm Store and Creamery, located in historic Weston, MO. Throughout the year, Green Dirt Farm hosts tours, cheese appreciation events and farm dinners. For more information on events at the farm and where to buy products, visit greendirtfarm.com and follow the farm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW whole milk, 2 percent milk, skim milk and heavy cream from Pure Éire Dairy is available throughout the Seattle, Tri-City, Walla-Walla and Spokane areas, including all PCC stores. Milk is also available from the farm, Monday through Friday, 8 AM — 5 PM, just call ahead to place an order. For more information about Pure Éire Dairy, visit pureeiredairy.com and reach Jill and Richard Smith at pureeiredairy@aol.com and 509-301-9512. Follow the farm on Facebook and Twitter.



A Greener World (AGW) identifies, audits, certifies and promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and ranchers and informing consumers. AGW’s growing family of trusted certifications includes Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO 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 and achievable.

A nonprofilt funded by public donations and membership, A Greener World 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.

The United States Championship Cheese Contest® is the nation’s premier technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition. 2019 marks the 20th biennial edition, hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. For more information, including complete results for all entry classes, visit uschampioncheese.org.

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