The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association is calling for nominations of individuals to be considered for formal recognition in 2020 for their outstanding contributions to the dairy processing industry. Association members have through Aug. 16 to make their recommendations for the following awards.

The WCMA Cheese Industry Champion award is given to industry leaders who, through their everyday business decisions, have created tremendous opportunity for others and spurred industry growth. People to be considered are the CEOs, directors, presidents and vice presidents of their companies who may not have cheesemaking obligations but lead and direct resources. In 2019, Dave Fuhrmann of Foremost Farms USA and Lou Gentine of Sargento Foods were honored with this award.

The WCMA Distinguished Service Award recognizes supplier partner members who have played a significant role in building the success of the United States dairy industry, contributing innovations in dairy manufacturing. In 2019, this award went to Joe and John Koss of Koss Industrial and Ron Kremer of Kerry.

The WCMA Vanguard Award is reserved for cheesemakers or cheese manufacturing employees who are considered groundbreakers for their innovations in day-to-day dairy operations. In 2019, this award was presented to Dale Baumgartner of Tillamook Creamery and Terry Lensmire of Agropur.

The WCMA Babcock Award recognizes the contributions of those in education or affiliate organizations to partner with cheesemakers in the pursuit of dairy industry innovation and excellence. In 2019, WCMA honored Dr. Rusty Bishop of Schreiber Foods and Dr. John Lucey of the Center for Dairy Research with this award.

WCMA members may submit nominations on WisCheeseMakers.org or by contacting WCMA Communications, Education, and Policy Director Rebekah Sweeney at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org.

All nominations will be considered by the members of the WCMA Recognition Committee in Sept. with final awards determinations made by the WCMA Board of Directors in December. Awards will be presented at 2020 CheeseExpo, set for April 14-16 in Milwaukee.