South Dakota State University sealed its eighth consecutive team title at the 93nd Dairy Products Evaluation Contest, in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Its string of eight consecutive individual titles was broken by Stephanie Brooks, representing the University of Tennessee. Twelve schools from the United States and Canada participated in this year’s contest:

  • Aims Community College, Colorado
  • Clemson University
  • Iowa State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Washington State University/University of Idaho

Among the contest’s goals is the development of students with a passion for improving and sustaining the sensory quality of retail dairy products.

Students tested their palates against professional judges in six different dairy products, fluid milk, butter, yogurt, Cheddar cheese, ice cream and cottage cheese. Judges review eight representative samples of the six different dairy products and render judgments on each of dozens of possible attributes and their severity of their departure from the ideal. Students are challenged to present scorecards that come as close as possible to the judgments of the experts.

In the butter category, SDSU’s Rachel Achen took first among undergraduates and Zhong Zhang of the University of Missouri claimed first among graduate students. South Dakota State also won team honors in butter.

Liz Reid of the University of Minnesota wins 3 product categories

Kate Bond of Clemson University took first place among undergraduates in Cheddar cheese, while graduate student Liz Reid of the University of Minnesota won the first of three product categories. Iowa State University claimed team honors.

Kahing Choi of Pennsylvania State University was the top undergraduate in cottage cheese, while Minnesota’s Reid claimed victory among grad students. The team prize was claimed by the University of Tennessee.

First place in ice cream went to undergraduate Lindsay Milligan of Washington State University/University of Idaho. University of Missouri graduate student Zhang took first place in her division. South Dakota State used its second and third place individual placing to earn team honors.

Nian Liu of the University of Alberta took first place among undergraduates in fluid milk. Iowa State’s Lily Benner was the top graduate student in milk. The University of Minnesota was the top team in milk.

Thomas Frederic, Tennessee win individual, team titles in yogurt division

Thomas Frederic of the University of Tennessee claimed first prize in the yogurt division, while in the graduate division, Reid claimed her third title. Frederic also led his Tennessee Volunteers to first place in the team category.

In the All Products category, which compiles scores in all products evaluated, Stephanie Brooks of the University of Tennessee took first place in the undergraduate division. Reid placed first among graduate students. South Dakota State defended its title as the top All Products team at the contest.

Tate and Lyle hosted the contest. It opened its Innovation Center in Hoffman Estates to the students for a tour and social hour. Dairy Foods sponsored the event. See all the sponsors here.