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New Graduates Bring Master Cheesemakers Ranks to 51


New Graduates Bring Master Ranks to 51


Madison, Wis. (April 20, 2011) – The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program, the nation’s only advanced  certification course of its kind for veteran cheesemakers, has graduated two new and two returning Master Cheesemakers. With the new 2011 graduates, Wisconsin has 51 Masters.  In total, they hold Masters’ certifications for 34 cheese varieties and represent 29 companies.


The new Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers, who were formally certified at the awards ceremony during the April 12-13 Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in La Crosse  are:

  • Mike Matucheski, an award-winning cheesemaker at Sartori, Plymouth. He is now certified as a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker in Asiago and Parmesan.
  • Tim Pehl, who recently joined Chula Vista Cheese in Browntown. He is now certified as a Master in Blue and Gorgonzola.

In addition to the two new graduates, the 2011 class includes two current Master Cheesemakers who returned to the program to gain certification for additional cheese varieties. They are:

  • Steve Stettler of Decatur Dairy in Broadhead, who adds Specialty Swiss to the cheeses for which he’s certified as a Master. Stettler earned certification in 1999 for Havarti and Muenster, and in 2006 for Brick and Farmer's Cheese.
  • Bruce Workman of Edelweiss Creamery in Monticello, who adds Brick and Muenster to the cheeses for which he’s certified as a Master. This is Workman’s fifth program completion. He previously earned certification for Baby Swiss, Butterkäse, Emmental, Gruyère, Havarti, Raclette and Specialty Swiss.

“It’s exciting to see the number of Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers grow each year and to witness the impact that this program has had – and will continue to have – on the quality of cheese  made in Wisconsin," says James Robson, CEO at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB).  “We celebrate every one of their individual success stories, and we also recognize the big picture of what their collective achievement means for the Wisconsin Cheese industry. They have a lot to be proud of.”

For more information or photo requests contact Marilyn Wilkinson, (608) 203-7262 or Megan Bykowski, (608) 241-4141 x265.

About the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program. The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program is the most comprehensive, advanced training program in the country.  Patterned after European programs, it is administered by the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research and funded by Wisconsin dairy producers, through Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Applicants to the program must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years of experience. Cheesemakers can earn certification in up to two cheese varieties each time they enroll in the three-year program and must have been making those varieties as a licensed cheesemaker for a minimum of five years prior to entering the program. Once certified, they’re entitled to use the distinctive Master’s Mark® on their product labels and in other marketing materials.


The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is a nonprofit organization of Wisconsin dairy producers that promotes the consumption of milk, cheese and other dairy products made in America's Dairyland.