Championship Dairy Product Contest Auction

Dave Buteyn, left, of Vivolac Cultures, and Doug Allen, of Denali Ingredients, make notes during Greek yogurt judging at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest held in August at Madison Area Technical College. The auction of winning entries raised more than $33,000 this week at World Dairy Expo.

AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES

The champion frozen yogurt sold for $160 per pound, and the blue-ribbon string cheese went for $215 per pound.

This week’s 15th annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest Auction at the Alliant Energy Center raised $33,823, according to figures released Thursday from the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, sponsor of the event.

The auction, held Tuesday, featured the 79 first-place winners from the three-day Dairy Product Contest that was held in late August at Madison Area Technical College. Products included cheese, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream and milk.

“This year’s contest far exceeded our hopes and expectations,” said Brad Legreid, executive director of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. “This contest keeps growing at a staggering rate as more and more companies learn about it and its myriad benefits.”

Boost for scholarships

A portion of the auction proceeds will be used to fund the Dr. Robert L. Bradley Scholarship, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association Scholarship and MATC Culinary Foundation Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to deserving students pursuing careers in the dairy industry. WDPA will also use a portion of the proceeds to fund a major sponsorship of the National Collegiate Dairy Product Judging Contest, Legreid said.

The 20 pounds of Black Pepper BellaVitano cheese from Sartori Co. in Plymouth, the overall Grand Champion in the cheese and butter category, was sold to Masters Gallery Foods, a fellow Plymouth cheesemaker, for $240 per pound. In March, Black Pepper BellaVitano was named best in show at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay.

Two pounds of French onion dip from Dean Foods Co. in Rockford, Illinois, the overall Grade A Grand Champion, was sold for $300 per pound to Dairy Farmers of America in Dodgeville. The overall Grand Champion in the ice cream division, two pounds of cookie dough peanut butter ice cream from Oberweis Dairy in North Aurora, Illinois, was sold for $135 a pound to AgSource.

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Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.