A farmers union that took the leap three years ago to add value to their organization by launching a specialty cheese business is once again in the headlines – this time for its Blue Cheese.

Wisconsin Farmers Union Specialty Cheese Company nabbed a blue ribbon at the American Cheese Society annual competition for its Montforte Blue in the blue mold category. This is on the heels of the company’s Gorgonzola being chosen as the world’s best at the 2006 World Championship Cheese Contest in March (largely considered to be the Olympics of cheese).

How does a company win two major awards with two different cheeses after only three years on the market? A simple answer: by hiring people who take pride and passion in their work. Master Cheesemaker Doug Peterson and plant manager Tim Pehl head the WFU’s specialty cheese operation in Montfort, Wisconsin, located about 55 miles west of Madison. If you ever have the chance, stop in at their factory store. You can even watch them take fresh milk and craft it in old world tradition into their signature Montforte™ Blue Cheese and Gorgonzola Cheese.

In the specialty cheese business, it’s not enough to make good cheese – our nation is extremely fortunate to have – quite literally – thousands of cheesemakers making high-quality products every day. The difference between making a good product and the ability to stamp a blue ribbon on your label after winning major awards is in the people running the cheese vats. Wisconsin Farmers Union’s plant in Montfort sets the bar for quality. The world is just now noticing.