May 9, 2008 Reporter’s Notebook: Southwest Cheese wins awards

Southwest Cheese CEO Fred Stephenson said he was pleasantly surprised when he learned the plant’s Monterey Jack entries won first and third place in March at the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wis.

It was the first time the company entered the contest, which included 1,753 entries from 19 countries, the chief executive officer said.

“It’s international recognition that cheese produced in Clovis is the best in the world,” said Stephenson about winning the contest.

The company was honored at a wine and cheese reception at the Norman and Vi Petty Museum.

Stephenson said the plant also submitted entries in the cheddar and colby cheese categories.

There were 79 cheese classes judged at the competition.

Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Gabriel Monte. Suggested items may be mailed to Managing Editor Rick White at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: