Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (January 11, 2018) —Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy entered four of its cheeses in the cheese competition at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show this year, and all of them won.
“We are really excited about this,” said India Loevner, owner of the Indiana Township farm that has about 100 Alpine and Nubian dairy goats. “We are excited to bring attention to Western Pennsylvania considering most of the goat farms are concentrated in the Philadelphia area.”
Chickabiddy, which is aged for a couple of weeks, and Fresh Chevre, a soft variety that has no rind and can be crumbled, both won blue ribbons in the bloomy rind and soft goat cheese categories respectively last week in Harrisburg. Hootenanny, a semihard that is aged for a minimum of three months and has a lot less moisture, took the second place in the semihard goat cheese category and Stampede, made with 90 percent cow’s milk from Le-Ara Farms in Worthington, Armstrong County, placed third in the mixed milk category.
There were 57 entries from 19 creameries, which ranged from small farms to Penn State, and contestants could enter four cheeses in total and one for each category. For the fourth year in a row, the Best in Show went to The Farm at Doe Run in Coatesville, Chester County.
Hootenanny, which is Goat Rodeo’s newest cheese, had won the second place at the famed American Cheese Competition last year. Ms. Loevner said her farm is experimenting with its recipe so that the next time it will win the top prize. “The Hootenanny gets better with age,’ she said. “So maybe instead of entering a year-old cheese we should go for two.”
She said Goat Rodeo’s next cheese-in-making is a goat’s milk cheddar that has to age at least for six months. She hopes it will be ready by the time the annual American Cheese Society Judging & Competition comes to Pittsburgh in July.
So are the goats going to get anything for winning the four prizes at the Farm Show?
“We are definitely giving them treats — vanilla wafers. They really like that,” Ms. Loevner said.
Arthi Subramaniam: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1494 or on Twitter @arthisub.