Butter made in southwest Michigan by the farmer-owned Michigan Milk Producers Association recently was awarded top honors at 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, Mich.
In the cheese division, MMPA’s Colby Jack cheese — made by subsidiary Middlebury Cheese Co. in northern Indiana — won third place in the Colby or Monterey 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,” says Joe Diglio, MMPA president and CEO. “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,” adds Dave Davis, MMPA Constantine plant manager. “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 that encompasses all dairy products. The contest received more than 1,000 entries in 75 product classes, including cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, cultured milk and dried whey from throughout the U.S.
CLEAN SWEEP: The Michigan Milk Producers Association took first, second and third place in the unsalted butter category at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest. It also garnered third place for Colby Jack cheese.
All first-place entries were auctioned off the next day at the expo.
As a result of this contest, the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association 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 in the art of evaluating dairy products.
MMPA operates two Safe Quality Food 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.