Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will be sponsoring its 8th Annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this year, which will once again be held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in Madison, Wis. This year’s contest will have 67 different categories, encompassing a wide range of dairy products including cheese, butter, milk, ice cream, yogurt, whey, cottage cheese, sour cream, whipping cream and more.

As a result, 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.

WDPA is seeking judges for these products:
Cheese & 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 Assn., 8383 Greenway Blvd., Middleton, WI  53562 by May 28. A WDPA contest committee will review all resumes and select the judges.

“This contest has exceeded our wildest expectations,” says WDPA executive director Brad Legreid. “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 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. More than 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 28 at World Dairy Expo, will provide a processor presence to the Expo, which creates an important link between producers and processors. World Dairy Expo will be working with WDPA to promote this contest on its Web site 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 18-19 at the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Culinary School. The MATC site affords more than 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 on August 17 at UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall.

Dairy Foods Magazine and Cheese Market News – In 2007, Cheese Market News and Dairy Foods magazine began their sponsorship of the Grand Champion Trophies for Cheese & Butter (Cheese Market News) and Grade A Products and Ice Cream (Dairy Foods). This national trade paper and premiere magazine, respectively, 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 notes. “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. Funded by proceeds from the contest’s annual auction, this scholarship 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 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 postmarked 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 Wisconsin Dairy Products Assn. at 608/836-3336 or via email at info@wdpa.net.