World Dairy Expo Honors Gifford’s Dairy, Sartori Foods
Gifford’s Dairy, Skowhegan, Me., was selected as the Grade A & Ice Cream Grand Champion, which was sponsored by Dairy Foods, of the World Dairy Expo (WDE) Championship Dairy Product Contest; Sartori Foods, Plymouth, Wis., was chosen as the Cheese and Butter Grand Champion.

This year’s contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), received a record number of 655 entries for cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream, sherbet, cultured milk, sour cream dips, whipping cream, dried whey and creative/innovative products from companies throughout the United States. 

The contest’s auction will be held Sept. 28 at World Dairy Expo in Madison, at which time all category first place winners will be auctioned off. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund the Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship Fund, a scholarship that’s awarded annually to a deserving student pursuing a career in the dairy industry. The auction will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will feature Doug Wilson from Cooperative Resources International, as the auctioneer. 

For more information, call 608/836-3336.

Dairy Council of CA Launches Nutrition Education Program
The rising number of overweight and obese children continues to be a serious health concern. That’s why the Dairy Council of California launched “Shaping Up My Choices,” a nutrition education program designed to help children improve health and develop positive eating habits. The program is tailored for students in pre-school through high school.

“‘Through Shaping Up My Choices,’ students will expand their nutritional knowledge while they learn a host of skills that will help build a strong foundation for lifelong wellness,” said Peggy Biltz, chief executive officer of Dairy Council of California, based in Sacramento, Calif.

The program will teach students how to use the MyPyramid Food Group system, the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, and how to choose healthy snacks and beverages that include milk and milk products. Other lessons include understanding the importance of individual nutrients like calcium and protein, identifying serving sizes, reading food labels and ways to get more exercise.

“‘With Shaping Up My Choices,’ we have incorporated the most effective features of all of our other classroom programs into a bright, colorful and engaging package that students will enjoy and teachers will find easy to teach,” Biltz said.

As with all of its nutrition education programs, Dairy Council of California conducted extensive preliminary testing before gearing up for the launch. Offered in English and Spanish, “Shaping Up My Choices” is expected to reach up to 200,000 California third graders during the 2010-2011 school year. It also meets educational requirements by aligning with California state math, language arts, science and health standards, and includes a take-home family homework component to engage parents in the learning process.

“‘Shaping Up My Choices’ is a good example of how the dairy industry is committed to being a part of the solution to the obesity epidemic,” Biltz said. “By using the right educational approach, we can help individuals learn to make healthy food choices, which include selections from milk and milk products.” 

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House Ag Committee Passes Provision of Electronic Dairy Product Price Reporting
The House Agriculture Committee passed a bill reauthorizing mandatory price reporting for livestock and included a provision requiring electronic reporting for dairy products.

Dairy product pricing is regulated by the federal milk marketing system, using complex formulas and monthly price announcements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Although the reporting is mandatory under current law, this provision would put in place a new electronic reporting capacity.

“IDFA supports the reauthorization of the existing law and the provision to require electronic reporting,” said Ruth Saunders, vice president for policy and legislative affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C. “While some groups have advocated for an increase in the frequency and categories of dairy product reporting, IDFA believes this should wait until the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system is reformed.”

Introduced by Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), the gives the Secretary one year to create the electronic reporting system from the time the bill is signed into law, which is expected by the end of the year. Until that time, the current dairy price reporting procedure will remain in place.

The bill has several co-sponsors including Representatives Baca (D-CA), Boswell (D-IA), Conaway (R-TX), Cuellar (D-TX), Dahlkemper (D-PA), Fortenberry (R-NE), Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Holden (D-PA), Kagen (D-WI), King (R-IA), Kissell (D-NC), Lummis (R-WY), Markey (D-CO), McIntyre (D-NC), Moran (R-KS), Pomeroy (D-ND), Scott (D-GA), Smith (R-NE) and Walz (D-MN). The Companion Senate legislation is sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). IDFA supports both House and Senate bills.

For more information on mandatory price reporting, contact Ruth Saunders at 202/220-3553 or