The sixth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest auction in Madison, Wis., raised more than $34,000 on Tuesday, Sept. 30, a new record for the contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association.

“We were absolutely thrilled with this year’s contest,” said Brad Legreid, WDPA executive director. “We achieved a record number of 415 entries for the 2008 contest, which translates into an average growth of 30% for each of the contest’s first six years. To grow this quickly, in such a short period of time, is a direct reflection of the enthusiastic support the U.S. dairy industry has shown toward this contest.”

“It is extremely gratifying to see how the industry has embraced this contest and shown its support by making it the third-largest dairy contest in the United States,” Legreid says. “Dairy companies, which manufacture products previously not eligible for traditional cheese and butter contests, are very excited about the opportunity to compete in a national all-dairy contest. It affords the first-place winners unprecedented opportunities to promote and market their successful achievements.”

A portion of the auction proceeds, which totaled $34,432.05, will be used to fund the Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship Fund which will be awarded annually to a deserving student pursuing a career in the dairy industry. Proceeds will also be used to defray contest expenses. Product donations were made to the MATC Culinary Arts School, University of Wisconsin Food Science Department, the Ronald McDonald House and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Leading the winning entries was the Grand Champion Award for Grade A and Ice Cream, which went to Dean Foods of Rochester, Ind., for its cottage cheese. Dairy Farmers of America made the winning bid of $65 per pound for the 12-pound lot, for a total price of $780. This award is sponsored by Dairy Foods/Dairy Field Reports. The Grand Champion Award for Cheese, sponsored by Cheese Market News, went to Land O’Lakes of Kiel, Wis., for its cheddar. Masters Gallery Foods took home the 40-pound block of cheese for $3,920, or $98 per pound.

A complete list of winners can be found at