The World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest, sponsored by the Middleton, Wis.-based Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), set a new record for total product entries. WDPA said it received 1,536 entries for the 2019 contest, a 12% increase over last year.

“This precipitous rise in contest entries is unprecedented,” said Brad Legreid, WDPA’s executive director. “No other dairy-related contest has achieved such a large number of entries in such a short period of time.”

As the only dairy contest of its kind, this year’s contest will feature 86 classes covering a wide variety of dairy products. Forty-eight technical judges, well-versed in sensory evaluation, from throughout the United States were selected to judge this year’s entries, WDPA said. The 2019 judges will be guided by the contest’s head judge, Dr. Bob Bradley, and its assistant head judges, Greg Kinate and Scott Rankin. The contest judges include:

Cheese and Butter

  • Kate Neumeier-Clarke, WAG Cheese
  • Steve Funk, Steve Funk, Nelson-Jameson
  • Matt Zimbric, Foremost Farms USA
  • Michelle Malone, Schreiber Foods
  • Amanda Muehlbauer, Sargento
  • Trent Sterry, AMPI
  • Eric Vorpahl, Masters Gallery Foods
  • Bill Rufenacht, Dairy Connection
  • Emily Harbison, Dairy Connection
  • Noreen Ratzlaff, Retired USDA
  • Virgil Metzger, Retired
  • Dave Satterness, Chr-Hansen
  • Steve Schenkoske, Tosca Ltd.
  • Timon Zander, Culvers
  • Kory Hyvonen, Oshkosh Cheese

Sour Cream

  • Dave Buteyn, Vivolac
  • Aileen Kacvinsky, Schuman Cheese

Sour Cream Dips

  • Doug Vargo, DuPont
  • Hoss Langhoff, Saputo

Cottage Cheese

  • Gary Pieper, Chr-Hansen
  • Keith Pigg, Vivolac


  • Anna Ku, Tillamook
  • Justin Larsen, Urban Farmer
  • Michael Cigich, CHR-Hansen
  • Kevin Harrah, Denali Ingredients


  • Tom Gruetzmacher, Bay Valley Foods
  • Jane Zeien, Denali Ingredients
  • Tori Boomgaarden, Kemps
  • Charles White, Merieux NutriSciences
  • Lloyd Ward, Retired, Dean Foods
  • Randy Hanson, Prairie Farms
  • Charlie Mack, Prairie Farms
  • Kevin Young, Dean Foods
  • George Strayer, Dean Foods
  • Jeff Jirik, Prairie Farms

Ice Cream

  • Eric Thomsen, Schoeps
  • Emily Daw, Schoeps
  • Barry Spors, Organic Valley
  • Trevor Bone, Dean Foods
  • George Strayer, Dean Foods
  • Daryl Spors, Kelley Supply
  • Doug Allen, Denali Ingredients
  • Tom Kelman, Kelman Consulting
  • Jeff Jirik, Prairie Farms
  • Justin Larsen, Urban Farmer


  • Sara Menard, Grande
  • Jenny Reuter, Foremost Farms

“To say that we’re extremely excited about this contest and its tremendous growth would be a huge understatement,” Legreid said. “This contest is benefiting the entire dairy industry by offering unique and never-before opportunities for winning companies to promote and market their products.

“In addition, the contest offers numerous college scholarships for students pursuing dairy careers, training opportunities for food-related students at local colleges and large product donations to food banks,” he continued. “This contest is not only benefiting our dairy industry, it’s providing valuable contributions to many people in need.”

Judging for the 2019 contest will take place Aug. 20–22 at Madison College Truax, Madison, Wis. The contest auction will be held Oct. 1 at World Dairy Expo in Madison.