Cheese nets $25,000 for 400 pounds
MONROE - The Blue Ribbon Cheese Auction brought in more than $25,000 for 400 pounds of cheeses Sunday at the Green County Fair. The total proceeds this year fell below the $34,000 raised last year, when five pounds of the grand champion Muenster went for $1,000 per pound, but it exceeded the 2009 total of $19,700. The Foreign Type Cheesemakers Association uses the money raised at the annual event to help community projects and local organizations.
Limburger was selling in one-pound lots for $55 to $125 per pound, before County KK Tire Service, Monroe, burst the bubble with the highest bid of the day, $200 per pound, and took the last of Chalet Cheese Cooperative's 20 pieces.
Ten pounds of Steve Webster's Grand Champion Feta from Klondike Cheese went at $40 per pound to Wisconsin Community Bank.
First-place Swiss cheese from Chalet Cheese Cooperative/Deppeler sold in five-pound chunks for $100 to $105 per pound, as did Chalet's Baby Swiss.
Coming in close behind the Swiss was a first-place Muenster by Matt Henze from Decatur Swiss Cheese. R. Mueller Service and Equipment, Monroe, bid $90 per pound for a five-pound piece.
R. Mueller Service and Equipment also snapped up five pounds of Romano by Josh Erickson from Silver Lewis, at $160 per pound.
Bringing the next highest bids at the auction was the fair's second-place brick, two five-pound chunks made by Steve Stettler from Decatur Swiss Cheese Company. Faith Engineering, Inc., Monroe, bid $130 per pound for one, and Qwest Industrial, Monroe, took home the second piece at $142.50 per pound.
Per pound, cheddar sold between $47.50 and $67.50; Havarti sold at $30 to $52.50; and dill Havarti came in at $60 to $65.
Last year, the Foreign Type Cheesemakers Association contributed to the historic Imobersteg cheese factory move to Monroe, Monsignor Thomas Campion memorial fund, Turner Hall, Cheese Days, The United Way and others, according to Ron Buholzer, president of the organization.
The auction broke records for the third year in a row, raising a total of $13,500. The auction brought in $9,725 in 2010 and about $8,300 in 2009.
Half of each winning bid goes the auction fund for 4-H and FFA dairy youth scholarships. The auction has awarded $18,000 in scholarships since it began in 2003.
The other half goes directly to the individual youths whose achievements bidders were vying to display at their places of business.
Winning bidders receive a crystal plaque inscribed with the youth's name and the bidder's name.
Chris Voegeli, Monticello FFA, son of Bryan and Beth Voegeli, set a youth auction record for receiving the highest individual bid at $2,550 from Renk Seed Company of Sun Prairie.
Voegeli was the Senior Showmanship winner.
Voegeli was also one of the 2011 scholarship winner. He plans to attend UW-Platteville in the fall.
Drawing the second highest bid at $2,200 was Brock Reeson, York 4-H, son of Dean and Rae Reeson, with his Supreme Junior Champion Grade Female.
Supreme Sportsmanship Champion, Stephanie Wyss, Clarno 4-H, daughter of Randy and Pam Wyss, brought in $1,500 from Maple Leaf Cheese.
Supreme Sportsmanship judging is based on the exhibitor's helpfulness, enthusiasm for participation and other personal characteristics, rather than on their animal.
The highest bid at the auction last year was $1,350 from Colony Brands, Inc., for Dave Meier, who was the Supreme Sportsmanship Champion.
Other participants in the 2011 Dairy Youth Recognition Auction were Brooks Hendrickson and Breinne Hendrickson, Dayton Dairylanders 4-H; Rachel McCullough, Brian McCullough and Alyssa Cramer, Spring Grove Honest Workers 4-H; Jenna Sweeney and Paige Hoesly, Clarence Bridge Pioneers 4-H.
No more than 10 participants are allowed in the auction each year, and each must have won in their category at the current Green County Fair.