• Last modified 74 days ago (March 13, 2024)


Cheesemaker places 3rd in international competition

Staff writer

A specialty cheese produced at Durham won international accolades last week during a world championship cheese contest.

Jason Wiebe Dairy’s Farmhouse Dill Weed Cheddar placed third in the open class hard cheeses category during the March 5 to 7 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin.

Food stores in the area can attest to the popularity of Wiebe Dairy cheeses.

“That Wiebe cheese is very popular,” Carlsons’ Grocery co-owner Greg Carlson said. “We pick up big loads of their cheeses about once a month.”

Dale Frantz, owner of Dale’s Supermarket in Hillsboro, said his customers also grab up a lot of Wiebe Dairy cheeses.

“It’s a good-selling item,” he said. “They bring us in a batch, and when it starts selling down, they bring us another batch.

“A lot of people, when they are in town, stop and pick it up. It’s a good item.”

Jason Wiebe had been hesitant to enter the international competition but entered nine cheeses.

“It hadn’t been won by an American cheese in many years,” he said. “If you win any, that’s great. Also you can get score sheets on it, and learn.”

The dairy entered its signature Cottonwood River Reserve cheddar cheese along with raw milk, mild and medium cheddars, garlic and herb cheddar, jalapeno habanero, and raw milk habanero.

The contest isn’t the first time Wiebe Dairy has done well.

“We got second place at the World Dairy Expo in 2006, third place last year at the American Cheese Society, and first place at the 13th Biennial United States Championship Cheese Contest,” Wiebe said.

The dairy was started by Jason Wiebe’s grandfather and has been operated by Jason; his wife Sheri; and their four children since 1997.

They and their children, Benjamin, Matthew, Shannon, and Julie, raise more than 120 cows and make natural cheese on the farm.

The dairy got a permit to make cheese in 2003.

The cheese also is available in specialty food stores and can be ordered online through the dairy’s website.

Last modified March 13, 2024