Oregon's outstanding cheesemakers earned twenty awards at the American Cheese Society's 30th annual conference, "In A Dairy State of Mind," which took place from July 31 through August 4.

That's a lot of awesome in one sentence, so let's recap:

1. Oregon cheesemakers won twenty awards at a cheese competition.

2. The competition took place at a conference terrifically titled "In A Dairy State of Mind."

Okay, moving on.

The cheesy gathering—which took place in Madison, Wisconsin (where else?)—analyzed nearly two thousand products from 254 companies for its annual culinary competition. A panel of 37 cheese professors, mongers, managers, and experts awarded honors to a number of Oregon-based cheesemakers, including Ancient Heritage Dairy, Briar Rose Creamery, Face Rock Creamery, Ochoa’s Queseria, Quail Run Creamery, Rivers Edge Chevre, Rogue Creamery, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and Willamette Valley Cheese.

According to Lisbeth Goddik, Oregon State University Extension Dairy Processing Specialist, our state has an advantage over its cheesemaking rivals:

“The climate is ideal for assuring optimum milk quality, because dairy animals thrive in Oregon,” said Goddik. “As a result Oregon continues to win a disproportionately large number of awards at both national and international cheese competitions.”

So the secret to Oregon's extraordinary cheese is its flourishing farm animals? Any way you slice it, that's worth celebrating!