Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wis., was selected as the Cheese and Butter Grand Champion, Dean Foods Company, Rockford, Ill., was selected as the Grade A Grand Champion and The Comfy Cow, Louisville, Ky., was the Ice Cream Grand Champion of the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest.

This year’s contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, received a record number of 1,210 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 dairy processors throughout North America.

Judging was held on Aug. 18 to 19 at the Madison Area Technical College Culinary School and Aug. 20 at UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall.

On Sept. 29, the winning products will be sold at auction during the World Dairy Expo in Madison. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund various scholarships for students pursuing careers in the dairy industry.

“It is remarkable how dairy manufacturers have embraced this contest,” says Brad Legreid, executive director of WDPA. “Since its inception in 2003, the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest has averaged a 12% annual rate of growth over its first thirteen years. This is unprecedented growth for a dairy product contest and is a direct reflection of the high level of interest that dairy processors have in entering the only judging contest of its kind in North America. Because this contest is all encompassing, dairy manufacturers have the unique opportunity to compete in a prestigious, all-dairy national contest.”

More awards for cheesemaker Sartori

Sartori has been bringing home the honors in 2015. Earlier this year, the cheesemaker was awarded three gold medals at the International Cheese Awards held in Nantwich, Cheshire, U.K. Its Cognac BellaVitano was named "Best USA Cheese", SarVecchio Parmesan won the "Cheese with Health Benefits" category and Merlot BellaVitano took gold in the "Cheese, Sweet Additives." The company also received a silver medal for its Balsamic BellaVitano and a bronze award for its Citrus Ginger BellaVitano.