Mt. Sterling Cheese is a member owned and operated cooperative, incorporated under Wisconsin law in 1976 as the Southwestern Wisconsin Dairy Goat Products Cooperative. Over forty family-operated goat dairy farms in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota produce milk for the cooperative. In 1983 as demand for their quality goat's milk products increased, they purchased the Mt. Sterling Cheese Factory located in Crawford County Wisconsin, where their prize-winning goat cheese is produced. Mt. Sterling's Cheddar won the Gold Medal at the American Dairy Goat Products Association contest and also took awards at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Chefs around the world have long valued goat's milk products for their delicate, rich flavor. With a long tradition of popularity in Europe and recently a growing following in the U.S., goat's milk products are expanding the world of dairy flavors for chefs and the consumer.
Additionally, goat's milk products stand unique in their dietary appeal. Dairy goat products are a wholesome source of vitamins and minerals and it's easier for your body to digest. For some individuals, cow milk sensitivity poses a real problem. Goat's milk is an alternative for those individuals and is often recommended for people with ulcers or other intestinal ailments. Some doctors suggest that it is an excellent alternative for babies and children who have cow's milk allergies.
The Mt. Sterling Cheese Co-op manufactures its prize-winning cheeses in one of the loveliest settings in the nation. The beautiful hill country of southwestern Wisconsin is often spoken of as "God's country" with a landscape of rolling wooded hills interspersed with the pastoral scene of dairy farms. Located just 5 miles from Mt. Sterling are the Gays Mills apple orchards. Hundreds of acres of apple orchards hold host to two festival weekends, the Apple Blossom Sunday (Mother's Day weekend) and the Apple Festival Weekend (the third full weekend of September). In the spring you will see acres and acres of beautiful apple blossoms and in the fall you will be treated to a colorful display of leaves throughout the rolling hills.
Two Mt. Sterling cheese varieties collected prizes at the recent World Championship Cheese Contest held in March, 2002, in Madison, Wisconsin. Thirteen expert judges from six nations gathered for the delightful task of tasting and sampling more than 1000 unique cheeses entered in the contest. The entries filled 28 separate classes and came from 17 different countries. The biennial event is the world's largest. The award was presented to the cooperative's cheesemaker, Dan Ludwig, at a special ceremony in Madison in May. Mt. Sterling's cheddar cheese garnered a bronze medal in the Aged Goat Milk Cheese class. Twenty-one other contestants sought the Best of Class Award, which was brought home by the French cheesemaker, Fromagerie Guilloteau. Mt. Sterling was the top-ranked goat cheese from America. In the Fresh Goat Milk Cheese class, Mt. Sterling also collected the bronze metal competing in a talented international field of 26 entries. The third place finish was awarded to Mt. Sterling for its pasteurized Country Jack.