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Latest cheese champion puts small Wis. town on map

11:14 AM, Mar. 15, 2013  |  Comments
Marieke Penterman, center, owner of Holland's Family Cheese LLC in Thorp, Wis., reacts after winning first place in the U.S. Cheese Championship Contest at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Penterman's winning cheese was an aged Gouda. (AP Photo/The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Evan Siegle) NO SALES
Marieke Penterman, center, owner of Holland's Family Cheese LLC in Thorp, Wis., reacts after winning first place in the U.S. Cheese Championship Contest at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Penterman's winning cheese was an aged Gouda. (AP Photo/The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Evan Siegle) NO SALES
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THORP - The Clark County town of Colby is where Colby cheese was created in 1885. But now cheese lovers have another Wisconsin destination to visit - the nearby town of Thorp, the hometown of the nation's top cheesemaker.

Marieke Penterman won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay this week. Her Marieke Mature Gouda cheese took top honors out of a field of 1,700 cheese entrants.

Penterman says her family already had plans to build a 100-acre farm and creamery, with viewing windows where tourists could watch the 300 cows being milked. They hope to have the new facility up and running in early October.

Thorp has a population of 1,600, and is about 40 miles east of Eau Claire.

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