Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), Middleton, Wis., will be sponsoring its ninth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this year. 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 eight years, this year’s contest will be expanding for the ninth time with 75 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.

According to WDPA executive director Brad Legreid, “This contest has exceeded our wildest expectations. Last year, in only the eighth year, our contest totaled over 660 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 is issuing a “call for judges” for the championship dairy product contest. Marianne Smukowski, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, Madison, Wis., 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 – 6 judges
Whey Products – 2 judges
Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream and Sour Cream Dips – 4 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 27. 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 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. World Dairy Expo will be working with WDPA to promote the 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 Aug. 17-18 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.  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 Aug. 16 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 will continue their support of the contest by once again sponsoring these trophies in 2011.

Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship – WDPA created the Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship, which is funded by proceeds from the contest’s annual auction. It 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 Association is excited to be sponsoring the 2011 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest,” says Legreid. “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 shipped the week of Aug. 8. Judging for cheese, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, fluid milk, cultured buttermilk, sour cream dips and whipping cream will be held Aug. 17-18 at MATC’s Culinary Arts School. Ice cream, sherbet, whey products and the innovative and creative technology categories will be judged on Aug. 16 at the University of Wisconsin Babcock Hall.  The winning entries will be auctioned off on Oct. 4 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 Association at 608-836-3336 or via email at info@wdpa.net.