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Championship Dairy Product Contest issues call for judges

April 25, 2010
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The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will be sponsoring its eighth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this year.

The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will be sponsoring its eighth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this year. The contest, the only one of its kind in North America, will once again be held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo.

Based on the tremendous success of the first seven years, this year’s contest will be expanding for the eighth time. This year’s contest will have 67 different categories, encompassing a wide range of dairy products that include, cheese, butter, milk, ice cream, yogurt, whey, cottage cheese, sour cream, whipping cream and more.

According to WDPA Executive Director Brad Legreid, “This contest has exceeded our wildest expectations. Last year, in only the seventh year, our contest reached 600 total entries. That is an unprecedented amount of entries for such a relatively new contest.  The contest is appealing to dairy companies throughout North America due to its uniqueness.  No other contest offers such a comprehensive representation of dairy categories for judging consideration.”  

WDPA is issuing a call for judges for the championship dairy product contest.  Marianne Smukowski of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research is the head judge and will lead all contest judging.  In addition to Smukowski, WDPA is seeking judges for these categories:

- Cheese and Butter: 10 judges needed

- Yogurt: 2 judges

- Ice Cream and Sherbet: 4 judges

- Whey Products: 2 judges

- Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream and Sour Cream Dips: 2 judges

- Fluid Milk and Cultured Buttermilk: 4 judges

Interested parties should send their resumes to Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, 8383 Greenway Blvd, Middleton, Wis., 53562 by May 28. A WDPA contest committee will review all resumes and select the judges.

WDPA will once again be teaming up with a number of other organizations this year to ensure another successful contest:

-    World Dairy Expo – This world showplace is a perfect stage for the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest.  Over 70,000 people from around the world attend World Dairy Expo each year.  Traditionally a producer –oriented exposition, WDPA’s dairy judging contest – along with the WDPA Dairy Products Grading & Evaluation Clinic scheduled for Sept. 28, 2010 at World Dairy Expo – will provide a processor presence to the Expo which creates an important linkage between producers and processors.  World Dairy Expo will be working with WDPA to promote this contest on its website and will include the contest’s Grand Champion with other Expo honorees at its prestigious Dinner with the Stars.

-    MATC Culinary School and UW-Madison – WDPA will conduct a portion of the judging for the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest on Aug. 18-19 at the Madison Area Technical College Culinary School. The MATC site affords over 70 student chefs the unique opportunity to closely observe and interact with the contest judges throughout the day.  “We see this interaction as invaluable training for these future chefs since it deepens their knowledge of dairy products which in turn will be beneficial in their future culinary careers,” Legreid says.  WDPA will donate non-winning entries to the Culinary Arts School for classroom training and education.  The ice cream, sherbet and whey judging will take place Aug. 17 at UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall.

-    Dairy Foods and Cheese Market News – In 2007, Cheese Market News and Dairy Foods began their sponsorship of the Grand Champion trophies for Cheese & Butter and Grade A Products and Ice Cream, respectively. These publications will continue their support of the contest by once again sponsoring these trophies in 2010. “Having the support of these two distinguished and highly respected publications is extremely gratifying,” Legreid says.  “Their support is a clear indication that they see the tremendous value this contest affords the dairy industry and its inherent opportunities for promoting and marketing dairy products throughout North America.”

-    Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship – This scholarship, funded by proceeds from the contest’s annual auction, will be awarded annually to a student pursuing a career in the dairy industry.

-    Charitable Organizations – WDPA will continue donating contest product to various charities, including the Ronald McDonald House and Second Harvest Food Bank.

“Wisconsin Dairy Products Association is excited to be sponsoring the 2010 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest,” Legreid says. “This contest affords manufacturers of other dairy products – who ordinarily do not have the opportunity to enter such contests – the ability to compete in a prestigious, one-of-a-kind national dairy product contest and leverage their success into extraordinary marketing opportunities.” 

Contest entry forms will be mailed to North American dairy plants in mid-July.  All entries must be shipped the week of Aug. 9.

 Judging for cheese, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, fluid milk, cultured buttermilk, sour cream dips and whipping cream will be held Aug. 18-19 at MATC’s Culinary Arts School.  Ice cream, sherbet, whey products and the innovative and creative technology categories will be judged on Aug. 17 at the University of Wisconsin Babcock Hall.

The winning entries will be auctioned off on Sept. 28 at World Dairy Expo.  The Grand Champion will then be honored the following evening at World Dairy Expo’s Dinner with the Stars.

For more information, contact WDPA at 608/836.3336 or info@wdpa.net.

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