Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), Middleton, Wis., said it will be sponsoring its 18th annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this year. The contest, the only one of its kind, will once again be held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo.

This year’s contest will feature 93 different categories, encompassing a wide range of dairy products that include cheese, butter, milk, ice cream, yogurt, whey, cottage cheese, sour cream, whipping cream and more. The last contest received a record 1,500 product entries, WDPA noted.

“To reach 1,500 entries in such a short period of time is unprecedented and a testament to the inclusiveness of all dairy products, as well as the professional, exacting standards used for judging these product entries,” said Brad Legreid, WDPA’s executive director. “We take a great deal of pride ensuring that all aspects of the contest are second to none so that participating companies are proud to be associated with this event. Winning companies parlay their success into new and profitable sales and marketing opportunities. Even non-winning companies benefit by seeing how their products are evaluated by 48 judges who are leading dairy sensory experts.”

WDPA is issuing a call for judges for the championship dairy product contest. Robert Bradley, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the head judge and will lead all contest judging. WDPA said it is seeking judges for these products:

  • Cheese and butter — 16 judges
  • Yogurt — four judges
  • Ice cream and sherbet — 10 judges
  • Whey products — two judges
  • Cottage cheese, sour cream and sour cream dips — six judges
  • Fluid milk and cultured buttermilk — 10 judges

WDPA said interested parties should send their resumes by May 10, 2021 to: Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, 8383 Greenway Blvd #130, Middleton, WI  53562. A WDPA contest committee will review all resumes and select the judges.

WDPA will once again be teaming up with a number of other organizations this year to ensure another successful contest: World Dairy Expo. This world showplace is a perfect stage for the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest, WDPA said, with more than 70,000 people from around the world attending each year. 

WDPA will conduct all three days of judging for the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest in August at the Madison College Culinary School. 

“The Madison College judging site has been a win-win situation for Madison College and the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association,” said Legreid. “Our judges enjoy interacting with the Culinary Arts School staff and students. It’s a great way to promote outstanding dairy products to these future chefs.” 

WDPA said it will donate non-winning entries to the Culinary Arts School for classroom training and education. 

WDPA said it annually funds three scholarships as a result of this contest:

  • Dr. Robert Bradley Scholarship: This $2,000 scholarship was established in 2009 in honor of the many contributions Bradley has made to the dairy industry throughout his career. 
  • The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association Scholarship: This $2,000 scholarship began being offered in 2012. Eligible students include any undergraduate in the food science, dairy science or dairy industry-related programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-River Falls. High school seniors who will be entering one of the programs are also eligible.
  • Madison College Culinary Arts Scholarship: A $2,000 donation to fund the Madison College Culinary Arts Program, which is the training ground for future chefs.

WDPA also donates $2500 to the National Collegiate Judging Contest. For more than 90 years, the dairy industry has benefited from this contest since it trains college students the art of evaluating dairy products, which in turn prepares them for life-long dairy careers, WDPA said.

WDPA said it also will continue donating contest product to various charities, including the River Food Pantry and other charitable groups.

“It’s an honor for the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association to sponsor a prestigious contest like the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest,” Legreid said. “It’s extremely rewarding to see how this contest benefits so many dairy companies throughout North America and other parts of the world.”

Contest entry forms will be mailed to dairy plants in late June. All entries must be shipped during the week of Aug. 9, with judging taking place Aug. 17-19. The winning entries will be auctioned off on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at World Dairy Expo. 

For more information, contact WDPA at 608-836-3336 or via email at info@wdpa.net.