PALM DESERT, Calif.-All Star Dairy Association Inc., held its 47th annual convention Feb. 9-13 at the Desert Springs Marriott.

President Larry Kurz, of Readington Farms, Whitehouse, N.J., and Executive Director Jeff Sterne of ASDA, Lexington, Ky., presided over a record attendance of 282 people, which included 51 dairy, water, and custom mold members representing 65 plants.

Newly elected board members were Gale Hackman, Central Dairy; Roger Gifford, Gifford's Ice Cream; Robin Schroeder, Schroeder Milk Co.; and Dub Garlington, Plains Dairy. Several member companies were recognized, with individual awards.

The convention featured a panel discussion that included a representative from Costco, Sysco, and School Food Service. Other topics covered included health insurance costs, hiring practices, distribution savings, waste water treatment, and current regulation changes.

Break-out sessions for four different business units (Milk Plants, Ice Cream Plants, Supermarket Owned Plants, and Suppliers) were very successful.

All Star was started in 1955, and currently has 181 member companies representing 262 plants in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and Nova Scotia.

The organizations offers a number of member benefits including purchasing services, training, member to member services, the annual convention, and a quality enhancement program.

All Star offers an annual scholarship program for member employees and dependents.

This year, the $5,000 John D. Utterback Annual College Scholarship was awarded evenly to the following individuals to be used toward a Food & Science degree:

  • Christie Collins of Milkco, Inc., Asheville, N.C. at Clemson University
  • Sarah Kleihauer of Wells Dairy, LeMars, Iowa, at Vanderbilt University
  • Shawn Byrne of Byrne Dairy, Syracuse, N.Y., Cornell University
  • Caitlin Dezzani of Crystal Cream & Butter, Sacramento, Calif., at UC Davis
  • Megan Sparks, Super Valu, Richmond, Va., at Bridgewater College

  • Sidebar: All Star Dairy 2005 Awards

    Dairy of the Year Award

    Foster Farms Dairy, Modesto and Fresno, Calif. Jeff Foster and Larry Diggory accepted.

    Purchasing Award (large company)

    Hunter Farms Dairy, High Point, N.C.

    Purchasing Award (small company)

    Gifford's Ice Cream, Skowhegan, Maine. Randall Gifford accepted.

    Quality Assurance Awards

    Best Fluid Plant: Turner Dairy, Pittsburgh, Pa. Chuck Turner accepted.

    Best Culture Plant: Louis Trauth Dairy, Newport, Ky. Gary Sparks, Dwight Emerson and Dan Smith accepted.

    Best Ice Cream Plant: Southwest Foods, Tyler, Texas. Jim Pitner, Mike Giles, and Hugo Fraga accepted.

    "Doc Lawrence" Most Improved Plant: Dairy Maid Dairy, Frederick, Md. Jim and Jody Vona accepted.

    "Thoroughbred Award" Supplier of the Year: BP Solvay, Houston. David Boyden, Norm Chatman, Mike Terna, and Byron Pinion accepted.