EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The results are in for this year’s World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest. In all, there were 267 winners, and with its 47 awards, or 18% of total awards, Prairie Farms dominated the contest with more wins than any competing company, including the top honor of Grade A Grand Champion for Regular Small Curd Cottage Cheese.
The contest, held in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of the country’s most prestigious dairy judging competitions. Prairie Farms and its family of companies, including Hiland Dairy, won 15 first-place championship trophies, 19 second-place medallions and 13 third-place medallions. The awards included six near-perfect scores.
“Earning the right to market our products as ‘Best of the Best’ is an important recognition. The awards are indicative of the tireless efforts of our 700-plus farm families and 7,800 team members to produce the highest quality dairy products available. Our consistent commitment to excellence has positioned our farmer-owned cooperative as an industry leader for 83 years,” said Rebecca Leinenbach, Prairie Farms’ vice president of marketing and communications. “We surpassed the number of WDE awards we brought home in 2019 by 52%, and we’re excited to share our success with our customers.”
Prairie Farms made several strong showings, including Small Curd Cottage Cheese from its Carbondale, Illinois, plant winning first place and a grand championship in the regular cottage cheese category. Prairie Farms 4% Cottage Cheese from the Quincy, Illinois, plant was close behind, earning second place in the category.
Small Curd Low Fat Cottage Cheese from Carbondale also took first place in the low-fat and no-fat cottage cheese category. Low Fat 2% Cottage Cheese from Hiland Dairy’s Chandler, Oklahoma, plant took second place in the same category.
Big cheese wins for the Luana, Iowa, plant included Prairie Farms Baby Swiss Cheese taking top honors in the Swiss styles category; Swiss Cheese earned second place in the same category. Luana’s Havarti earned third place and Cream Cheese first place in their categories.
Other Prairie Farms winners in their categories included:
- Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg Creamery took first place with Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar and third place for Bourbon Barrel Smoked Cracked Peppercorn Cheddar.
- Prairie Farms’ Caves of Faribault division took second place with St. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese. Prairie Farms’ Rochester Cheese plant earned second place with Pasteurized Processed Swiss American Cheese.
- Prairie Farms won first-, second- and third-place awards for Whole Milk and 2% Milk from its plants in Granite City, Illinois, and Battle Creek, Michigan.
- Prairie Farms took first place with Whole Buttermilk, first place with 2% Chocolate Milk, and third place for Whole Chocolate Milk.
- Hiland Dairy won first place with White Milk. Prairie Farms UHT Salted Caramel Milk from Battle Creek secured a second place.
- Paririe Farms recorded a first-place finish for Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt and a first place win for Quincy’s 3% Whole Milk Peach Yogurt.
- Hiland Dairy captured first-place wins with Regular Sour Cream and Lite Sour Cream. Prairie Farms took second place with Low Fat Sour Cream.
- Prairie Farms took first place with Veggie Ranch Dip. Hiland Dairy scored second and third place with Sassy Salsa and Jalapeño Fiesta dips. Hiland Dairy earned third with Toasted Onion Dip.
- Granite City’s Heavy Whipping Cream came in second with a near-perfect score of 99.99.
- Prairie Farms’ Rockford, Illinois, plant brought home a second-place finish for Philly Vanilla Ice Cream, while Hiland Dairy earned second with French Vanilla.
- Prairie Farms’ Ice Cream Specialties Division netted third place with Strawberry Shortcake, Prairie Farms Salty Caramel from the Rockford plant received third place, and Prairie Farms’ Luana plant brought home second place with Sweet Whey Powder.
The World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. Over 1,400 product entries from across the country competed in 90 contest classes, including cheese, fluid milk, yogurt, butter, sour cream, dairy dips, ice cream, cottage cheese and whey products.
An awards ceremony will be at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest Auction on Sept. 29. To see the full list of wins along with descriptions and scores visit the 2021 World Dairy Expo Champions page attinyurl.com/pafef72c.