Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will be sponsoring its sixth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this fall.

Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will be sponsoring its sixth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this fall. 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 five years, this year’s contest will be expanding for the sixth time. This year’s contest will have 55 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, “In just five years, this contest has attained an unprecedented level of entries for a newer contest. Due to an annual 40% growth rate, this contest received almost 400 entries last year, making it the third largest dairy contest in North America. Since this is the only North American dairy contest that includes all dairy products, we have seen a tremendous amount of interest and support for this contest, all of which is reflected in the contest’s impressive rate of growth. As this unique contest continues to grow and more companies become aware of it, we believe it will evolve into one of the premiere contests in the dairy industry.”

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

  • Cheese & Butter – 10 judges needed
  • Yogurt – 2 judges
  • Ice Cream and Sherbet – 2 judges
  • Whey Products – 2 judges
  • Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream and Sour Cream Dips – 2 judges
  • Fluid Milk and Cultured Buttermilk – 2 judges
Interested parties should send their resumes to Wisconsin Dairy Products Assn, 8383 Greenway Blvd, Middleton, WI 53562 by May 23, 2008. 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 September 30, 2008 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 August 26-27 at the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) 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,” says Legreid. 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 on August 28 at UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall.

Dairy Foods Magazine and Cheese Market News– Last year, Cheese Market News began its sponsorship of the Grand Champion Trophy for Cheese & Butter. This national trade paper will continue its support of the contest by once again sponsoring this trophy in 2008.

Dairy Foods Magazine takes over the sponsorship of the Grand Champion Trophy for Grade A and Ice Cream products as a result of its recent acquisition of Dairy Field Magazine. Due to the merging of these two magazines, Dairy Foods has become the premiere magazine for the dairy industry.

“Having the support of these two distinguished and highly respected publications is extremely gratifying,” according to Legreid. “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– WDPA has created the 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 Assn. is excited to be sponsoring the 2008 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest,” says Legreid. “Even though there are other cheese contests held in the United States, this contest is unequaled due to its inclusiveness of all dairy products. It 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. WDPA firmly believes that this contest, along with other cheese contests, are good for the dairy industry due to their positive exposure to the general public and enhanced marketing opportunities for winning companies. We think that any event that promotes the dairy industry is positive public relations.”

Contest entry forms will be mailed to North American dairy plants in mid-July. All entries must be shipped the week of August 18. Judging for cheese, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, fluid milk, cultured buttermilk, sour cream dips and whipping cream will be held August 27-28 at MATC’s Culinary Arts School. Ice cream, sherbet, whey products and the innovative and creative technology categories will be judged on August 26 at the University of Wisconsin Babcock Hall. The winning entries will be auctioned off on Tuesday, September 30 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 Wisconsin Dairy Products Assn. at 608.836.3336 or via email atinfo@wdpa.net