Hiland Dairy Foods Co., Springfield, Mo., was honored by Quality Chekd for excellence in marketing, while a sister company in Fort Smith, Ark., was cited for production. Umpqua Dairy Products Co., Roseburg, Ore., received Quality Chekd honors for plant performance.

Quality Chekd honored the dairies at its leadership conference in Nashville, Tenn., in April. The annual QCS conference included key dairy supply services, a supplier trade show and educational workshops. Members and suppliers of QCS Purchasing partners, Quality Chekd Dairies, SECO and Allied Purchasing attended the event.

“Our membership strives to achieve and maintain only the highest quality standards in every aspect of their operation,” said Peter Horvath, president and CEO of QCS Purchasing, Quality Chekd Dairies and SECO.

Umpqua Dairy Products received the Irving B. Weber Distinguished Award for Quality Excellence. The Weber Award is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dairies competing for this award undergo an extensive 12-month process involving on-site assessments, monthly finished product testing, a quality compliance evaluation and leadership questionnaires. Umpqua also achieved the highest combined annual score of all Quality Chekd members in the categories of leadership, customer satisfaction, production quality, marketing communications, staff development and business ethics.

Finalists for the Weber Award were Alqueria, Bogota, Colombia, and the Missouri location of Hiland Dairy.

The 2014 Production Excellence Award, honoring the best single production plant, was awarded to Hiland Dairy Foods Co. Fort Smith, Ark. The plant was judged to have produced the highest quality product, received exemplary scores during site evaluations and achieved manufacturing excellence surpassing all other Quality Chekd member facilities.  Selection criteria for this award includes facility inspections, an evaluation of a plant’s process and systems for assuring product quality, customer communications, quality standards and laboratory test scores.

Two 2014 Outstanding Marketing Achievement Awards for superior marketing achievement and top communication of its brand was presented to Hiland Dairy of Springfield, Mo., for its well-defined and highly focused marketing objectives and strategies, targeted execution of programs and quantifiable results. The other finalists for this award included Dairy Enterprises (Orville, Ohio) and Upstate Niagara Cooperative (Buffalo, N.Y.).

 To recognize member and supplier commitment and highlight the achievements made throughout the year, QCS Purchasing presented the QCS Leadership Award to two dairies: Galliker Dairy, Johnstown, Pa., and Prairie Farms, Carlinville, Ill.; and two suppliers:  Ecolab Pest, St. Paul, Minn., and RockTenn, Norcross, Ga.