Nebraska is known for corn and beef. But what about cheese?
Jisa Farmstead Cheese in Brainard, Neb., received third place honors Aug. 2 for its New York Cheddar Curds at the recent National American Cheese Society 30th Anniversary Convention in Madison, Wis., -- known for its cheese. More than 1,750 products from more than 250 companies participated in the contest.
To celebrate and to introduce more people to its Nebraska cheese, the company will host two open houses on Nov. 9 and Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, where cheese curds will be available for sample and sale. Door prizes, including Nebraska wines and cheeses, will also be up for grabs.
Although Jisa Farmstead Cheese had attended the conference for the past five years, owner David Jisa attributes this first time contest entry to his general manager and marketing representative, Julie Wachal. Jisa’s daughter, Christine Jisa, a chemical engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, helped make the curds for the contest. “We all worked hard and it was very gratifying to win,” David Jisa said.
According to the American Cheese Society, cheese must be made from milk from the farmer’s own herd, or flock, on the farm where the animals are raised in order to be classified as “farmstead.” Jisa Farms milks 300 Holsteins twice a day and uses the milk to make its cheese. When the whey is drained from the curds, it’s fed back to the calves for nutrition.