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Russell (left) and Grant Kohler, owners of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese hold up their award-winning cheeses: Cascade Raw (left), Wasatch Back Jack (middle) and Queso Fresco Verde (right). Heber Valley Artisan Cheese.
Russ Kohler, a co-owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese and the dairy farm it is located on, submitted 14 cheeses to the American Cheese Society's annual competition for the second year in a row. This year, he came home with three awards.

Kohler inherited the family-owned-and operated dairy farm from his Swiss-born great-great-grandfather began working on it after immigrating to the United States. His great-grandfather then bought the creamery in 1929. It has been in the family ever since.

The creamery and cheese company serves Summit, Salt Lake, Wasatch and Utah counties, and Kohler said he prides himself in being able to offer residents a local product that tastes great.

"It is a lot of trial and error and a complex tasting system," said Kohler. "We have cheese-taste events where the public can come and pay $5 to blind test new cheeses and rate them."

The cheeses that perform exceptionally are then sent to the competition as and made available to the public to purchase.

According to a press release from Intrepid Hybrid Communications, the American Cheese Society's annual competition seeks out the highest quality in milk and cheese products in North America, and this year's competition was the largest yet with almost 1,800 products submitted.

Heber Valley's Wasatch Back Jack cheese took first place in the "Monterey Jack with flavor added all milks" category, their Cascade Raw cheese took second place in the "Cheddar aged up to 12 months made from cow's milk" category, and their Queso Fresco Verde took second place in the "Hispanic-style with flavor added all milks" category.


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"Our Wasatch Back Jack cheese took third place last year," said Kohler. "We came back and made some tweaks and adjustments that made it a lot better and ended up with first place this year."

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese is located on Canyon View Farm in Midway, Utah. Kohler said tours are available to the public. From visiting the cows to the end product cheese, they have made the creamery as transparent as possible. There is even a window where visitors can watch the entire process if they would like to.

"We are just a family-owned company doing what we can to make dairy survive in today's economy," said Kohler. "We love sharing our farm, creamery and products with others."

Info Box:

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese

920 North River Road

Midway, UT

435-654-0291

http://www.hebervalleycheese.com