Conway Center honors Velvet Ice Cream with business award

Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, Ohio, was named the Family Business of the Year by the Conway Center for Family Business, Columbus, because it is a family business that exhibits a strong commitment to family and business, makes contributions to its industry and the Central Ohio community, develops innovative business practices and demonstrates strong succession.

[Photo above (from left): Beth French, foodservice business development manager; Luconda Dager, president; Joe Dager, chairman; Dave Elwell, chief financial officer; Joanne Dager, vice president, foodservice; Suzanne Dager; and Clare Frey]

The Conway Center’s Family Business Awards Program was established in 1999. Founded in 1914 by Joseph Dager, four generations of Dagers have since run the ice cream company.Read "Velvet Ice Cream 4.0: How this 100-year-old company stays relevant"and "Big flavors from small batches: A look inside Velvet Ice Cream's plant."

Yogurt added to Championship Cheese contest

The United States Championship Cheese Contest has added six yogurt classes to its 2015 competition. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Madison, Wis., which sponsors the contest, invites processors to enter cultured dairy products in the following categories: low-fat unflavored cow’s milk yogurt; low-fat flavored cow’s milk yogurt; high-protein unflavored cow’s milk yogurt; high-protein flavored cow’s milk yogurt; yogurt, flavored and unflavored, all other milks; drinkable cultured products, all flavors, all milks. Entry forms and fees are due Feb. 18. Details are online at

FDA accepts gras status of MPC

The American Dairy Products Institute, Elmhurst, Ill., said the Food and Drug Administration responded favorably to a notice submitted by ADPI and the U.S. Dairy Export Council regarding the GRAS status of milk protein concentrate (MPC) and milk protein isolate (MPI) for multiple uses in a wide variety of food categories.

In a letter dated Nov. 21, 2014, the FDA responded that "based on the information provided by ADPI and USDEC, as well as information available to FDA, the agency has no questions at this time regarding ADPI and USDEC's conclusion that MPC and MPI are GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) under the intended conditions of use. The agency has not, however, made its own determination regarding the GRAS status of the subject use of MPC and MPI. As always, it is the continuing responsibility of ADPI and USDEC to ensure that food ingredients that [a] firm markets are safe, and are otherwise in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements."

Washington state dairy donates milk to Food Lifeline

Smith Brothers Farms, Kent, Wash., in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Washington donated thousands of quarts of milk to Food Lifeline during the 2014 holiday season. For every quart of the dairy’s Holiday Egg Nog sold between Dec. 1 and 12, Smith Brothers Farms donated a quart of milk to Food Lifeline, which provides food to over 275 food banks and meal programs in western Washington. Read why Dairy Foods selected the dairy as the 2014 Plant of the Year. 

DFA honors New Hampshire dairy farm

Dairy Farmers of America awarded a 2014 Gold Quality Award to The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center in Durham, N.H. The Center is a facility of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. As a result of receiving the award, UNH is paid the highest price for its milk. The milk is sent to HP Hood’s plant in Concord, N.H.