Gerard Knaus

(Earned his Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certificate in 2012)

Weyauwega Star Dairy has been owned and operated by Gerard Knaus’ family for more than 30 years. Knaus is the first cheesemaker there to become a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker, with certifications in feta and parmesan. Knaus was introduced to the craft at 14, when his father first brought him to the plant and he had the opportunity to work hands-on alongside a cheesemaker. “I knew then that this was what I wanted to do when I grew up,” Knaus says. Knaus is again enrolled in the Master Cheesemaker program, this time aiming for certification in brick and Colby. Afterward, he plans to become certified in mozzarella and cheddar as well. “When you start this program, you quickly realize that despite the fact that you’ve been making cheese all your life, there’s a lot you don’t know,” Knaus says.