MADISON, Wisc. — Butter made in southwest Michigan by farmer-owned Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) was today awarded top honors from the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest. First, second and third place awards were granted to unsalted butter made at MMPA’s dairy plant in Constantine, Michigan.
In the cheese division, MMPA’s Colby-jack cheese—made by subsidiary Middlebury Cheese Company in northern Indiana—won third place in the Colby or Monterrey jack cheese category. MMPA has competed in the North American contest for nine years.
“Excellence starts with our member-owners’ high-quality milk and the dedication of our plant teams to produce award-winning products,” MMPA President and CEO Joe Diglio said. “We are proud of these accomplishments that continue to be recognized at World Dairy Expo.”
“The commitment of our team shines in the quality of our products,” MMPA Constantine Plant Manager Dave Davis said. “We are proud of our product made right here in the Great Lakes region.”
The World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest is the only North American judging contest which encompasses all dairy products. The contest received over one thousand entries in 75 product classes including cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, cultured milk and dried whey from throughout the United States.
A contest auction of all first-place entries will take place during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin today. As a result of this contest, the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA) annually funds two scholarships for students preparing for careers in the dairy industry. WDPA also funds a culinary arts scholarship and donates to the National Collegiate Judging Contest which trains college students the art of evaluating dairy products.
MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 dairy ingredient plants in Michigan and a cheese plant in Indiana. In addition to butter, MMPA’s dairy ingredient plants manufacture nonfat dry milk, condensed skim milk, cream and whole milk powder. MMPA sells its products to food manufacturers who make infant formulas, candy, ice cream, pudding, baked goods, cheese and yogurt. The Colby-jack cheese and 2 pound rolls of butter are sold at the Heritage Ridge Creamery store in Middlebury, Indiana and online at www.heritageridgecreamery.com.
MMPA is a dairy farmer owned cooperative founded in 1916. MMPA serves approximately 1,600 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, handling approximately 5 billion pounds of milk annually. MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 certified manufacturing plants in Michigan and a cheese plant in Indiana. Products made at MMPA’s plants include cheese, ultra-filtered milk, butter, milk powder, cream and condensed skim milk.