Entries from Iowa and Wisconsin place 1-2-3 in World Dairy Expo contest
NEW ULM, Minn. (Oct. 5, 2015) — Mild Cheddar cheese entries made in three Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) facilities in Iowa and Wisconsin dominated their category at the 13th Annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest held in Madison, Wis.
The entry from AMPI’s Sanborn, Iowa, plant was judged the category’s best for the second consecutive year. Cheesemakers at the cooperative’s Jim Falls, Wis., plant claimed second, and the entry from the Blair, Wis., team received third, to sweep the awards.
“Claiming every award the judges had to give in this category speaks to the consistent quality of all the dairy products made in AMPI’s dairy farmer-owned plants,” said Mike Wolkow, AMPI vice president of operations. “Superior dairy products begin with exceptional milk. The quality milk coming from AMPI member farms is the essential ingredient in all our prize-winning dairy products.”
Contest records indicate the 1-2-3 finish has never been done before in the competitive category, said Brad Legreid, executive director of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association and contest administrator. This year's contest received a record 1,210 entries from dairy processors throughout North America.
Judges also selected AMPI’s pasteurized process blend of Monterey Jack and American cheese flavored with red bell and jalapeno peppers as a first-place winner. The cheese was made at the co-op’s Portage, Wis., facility.
The first-place cheeses from the Sanborn and Portage plants were auctioned off Sept. 29 during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. A portion of the auction proceeds fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in the dairy industry.
AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by 2,500 Midwest dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members annually market about 5.8 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $2.2 billion in sales for the cooperative.
AMPI owns 10 Midwest-based manufacturing plants where 10 percent each of the American-type cheese, butter and dried whey in the United States is produced. The cooperative’s award-winning cheese, butter and powdered dairy products are marketed to foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers.