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 had 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 a combined 47 awards, including 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+ 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’ VP of Marketing/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 Lowfat Cottage Cheese from Carbondale also took first place in the Lowfat and No Fat Cottage Cheese category. Lowfat 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 in the Brick, Muenster, Havarti category and a first place win for Cream Cheese in the Plain Cream Cheese category. Prairie Farms’ Shullsburg Creamery took first place with Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar in the Flavored Natural Cheeses category and third place for Bourbon Barrel Smoked Cracked Peppercorn Cheddar in the Smoked Flavored Natural Cheese category. Prairie Farms’ Caves of Faribault division took second place in the Blue Veined Cheeses category with St. Pete’s Select® Blue Cheese. Prairie Farms’ Rochester Cheese plant earned second place in the Cold Pack Cheese, Cheese Food, and Cheese Spread category with Pasteurized Processed Swiss American Cheese.
It was a sweeping win for Prairie Farms in the UHT Milk & Aseptic Milk category with 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 also took first place with Whole Buttermilk in the Cultured Milk category, first place with 2% Chocolate Milk in the Lowfat Chocolate Milk 2% category, and third place for Whole Chocolate Milk in the Whole Chocolate Milk category. Hiland Dairy won first place with White Milk in the White Milk category. Prairie Farms UHT Salted Caramel Milk from Battle Creek secured a solid second place in the Open Class Flavored Milk category.
More strong showings from the World Dairy Expo came for Prairie Farms in the Yogurt, Sour Cream, Dips, and Whipping Cream categories, including a first place finish for Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt out of Quincy in the Vanilla Yogurt category and a first place win for Quincy’s 3% Whole Milk Peach Yogurt in the Open Class Yogurt category. Hiland Dairy captured first place wins with Regular Sour Cream and Lite Sour Cream in the Sour Cream and Lowfat Sour Cream categories. Prairie Farms took second place with Lowfat Sour Cream in the same category. In the Open Sour Cream Based Dips category, Prairie Farms took first place with Veggie Ranch Dip. Hiland Dairy scored second and third place with Sassy Salsa and Jalapeno Fiesta Dips in the Sour Cream Based Dips – Southwest category. Hiland Dairy earned third with Toasted Onion Dip in the Sour Cream Based Dips – Onion category. In the Whipping Cream and Heaving Whipping Cream category, Granite City’s Heavy Whipping Cream came in second with a near-perfect score of 99.99.
To top off all the great awards, Prairie Farms’ Rockford, Illinois plant brought home a second place finish for Philly Vanilla Ice Cream in the Philly Vanilla category, while Hiland Dairy earned second with French Vanilla in the French Vanilla category. Prairie Farms’ Ice Cream Specialties Division netted third place with Strawberry Shortcake in the Strawberry Ice Cream category. Prairie Farms Salty Caramel from the Rockford plant received third place in the Ice Cream with Caramel category. Prairie Farms’ Luana plant brought home second place with Sweet Whey Powder within the Whey category.
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 held at the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest Auction on September 29, 2021. To see our full list of wins along with descriptions and scores visit our 2021 World Dairy Expo Champions page.
About Prairie Farms Dairy
Prairie Farms Dairy is one of the largest and most successful dairy cooperatives in the Midwest and the South. Elements of the cooperative include more than 700 farm families, 8100 employees, 50 manufacturing plants, over 100 distribution facilities, and annual sales of over $3 billion. Prairie Farms is a nationally recognized leader in the dairy industry known for setting the standard for milk flavor innovations and producing award-winning milk, cheese, and cultured dairy products. With headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill., the Prairie Farms distribution footprint covers over 30 percent of the United States; products are available in grocery chains, mass merchandiser stores, club stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores, schools, foodservice outlets, and warehouse distribution centers. Prairie Farms' charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations.