Penterman of Hollands Dairy is Ann Lydecker Lecture Series speaker at UW-River Falls

September 28, 2017-- “Marieke Penterman: Farmer’s Daughter, Immigrant, Award-winning Cheesemaker” will be presented by Marieke Penterman of Hollands Dairy in Thorp on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 5-6 p.m. in North Hall auditorium at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The event, part of the Ann Lydecker Lecture Series, is free and open to the public.

Born and raised on her family’s 60-cow dairy farm in the Netherlands, Penterman was destined for a life in the dairy business. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the dairy business and started as a farm inspector right after college. Farming land in the Netherlands is scarce and expensive, so in May 2002, she and her husband, Rolf, started a 350-cow dairy farm in Thorp. Penterman found herself missing the Dutch cheese she grew up on, thus deciding to learn the craft of Gouda cheese-making. On Nov. 22, 2006, Penterman created her first of many exquisite batches of cheeses using equipment, cultures and herbs imported from the Netherlands.

In her first entry in the 2007 U.S. Cheese Championship, Penterman took home the first of many gold medals, over 150 and counting. Since that first win, she has won multiple awards each year at national and international cheese competitions. In 2013, she was named the U.S. Cheese Grand Champion; in 2014 at the World Cheese competition, Penterman swept the Aged Gouda Class; and in 2016, she swept the Flavored Gouda Class at the World Cheese Championship.

Awards are sweet, but nothing pleases Penterman more than to see her cheeses enjoyed by loyal customers and new-found followers, watching their eyes roll skyward in loving appreciation as they savor old favorites and new creations. Whether it is a slice of Bacon Gouda on a cheeseburger, a chunk of smooth Young Gouda with fresh-baked bread, or bits of Aged Gouda with strawberries and a fine wine, the taste is the thing.

The Ann Lydecker Lecture Series was created in the memory of the late UWRF Chancellor and features a speaker on the issues facing women leaders in many contexts both in academia and beyond. The series is made possible by Bill Lydecker, Ann's husband, through the Ann Lydecker Lecture Series Fund of the UWRF Foundation.

For more information about Marieke’s visit or the lecture series, call 715-425-3304 or email

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