LOGAN – Gossner Foods scored big at a recent dairy competition held in Sun Valley, Idaho. The local dairy processor entered their aged white cheddar cheese and was awarded Grand Champion at the 2021 Idaho Milk Processing Association (IMPA) Dairy Product Contest.
IMPA is a 95-year-old nonprofit organization promoting the Idaho dairy industry, ranking third in U.S. for milk and cheese production behind California and Wisconsin.
The organization’s members and associate members get together annually united in advocating the responsible growth and development of profitable Idaho and Utah dairy industries.
Jason Simper, sales manager for Gossner Foods, said the Logan-based company has experimented with white cheddar cheese for a while now but haven’t marketed it much.
“We don’t sell white cheddar cheese in mass quantities except in our Gossner Food Store,” he said. “Having our white cheddar cheese win Grand Champion at the IMPA competition was big deal. We went up against all of the big boys in the west.”
Although Gossner Foods has a plant in Heyburn, ID, the IPMA amended its bylaws in 2019 to include Utah milk producers.
“This is the first time we entered the white cheddar cheese,” Simper said. “We also entered our Swiss cheese which generally wins first place awards every year.”
Gossner’s Muenster cheese produced at their Heyburn plant was named First Reserve Champion at this year’s IMPA competition.
The IMPA’s annual cheese auction raised $55,750 to help fund student scholarships, besting the 2019 record of $33,250. The convention was not held the last couple of years due to the pandemic.
The organization challenges college with dairy, nutrition food science programs to create the promising food products using 50 percent dairy ingredients.
Aggie Creamery also won first place for their Hard Italian Cheese.
Fourteen processors submitted 132 entries to be judged at this year’s competition.
Gossner Foods, a Cache Valley staple, is a family-owned business which incorporated in 1966 in Logan and today has a second dairy processing plant in Heyburn. Approximately 60 years after producing their first vat of cheese they have become one of the top producers in the west for their Swiss cheese, producing 60 million pounds of that cheese a year. Between the their Utah and Idaho production facilities they employ over 600 people and are growing.
Besides being one of the top dairy producers specializing in Swiss and Muenster cheeses they also pioneered the popular Ultra High Temperature shelf stable milk in a variety of flavors.
Both Gossner’s cheese and UHT milk can be found in many locations throughout the world under their own name of other labels.