WDPA auction nets record proceeds

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

“We were absolutely thrilled with this year’s contest,” says 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 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.

Dean Foods of Indiana, Rochester, Ind., was selected as the Grade A & Ice Cream Grand Champion for its cottage cheese. Dairy Farmers of America made the winning bid of $65 per pound for the 12-pound award-winning 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.

This year’s contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Assn (WDPA), received a record number of 405 entries for cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream, sherbet, buttermilk, sour cream dips, whipping cream, dried whey and creative/innovative products from throughout the United States.

A complete list of winners can be found at www.wdpa.net.