making a difference for dairy
Be Heard

Regulatory RoundUp

Get Involved

Advocacy: Dairy Counts

Join the Discussion

Dairy Forum

Dairy Delivers℠: The Economic Impact of Dairy Products
Advocacy: Dairy Counts
Knowledge Center
FDA Milk Safety Memoranda
Tariff Schedules
State Legislative Affairs
Buyers' Guide
Member Hotlines
Dairy Market Prices
Quick Links


Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest Announces Winners

Nov 19, 2014

South Dakota State University sealed its eighth consecutive All Products team title at the 93nd Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest held earlier this month, but its string of eight consecutive individual titles was broken by Stephanie Brooks, a student at the University of Tennessee, who took top honors in the All Products category for undergraduates. Liz Reid of the University of Minnesota earned the top All Products title in the graduate student category, as well as the top graduate titles for cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.

Twelve schools from the United States and Canada participated in this year’s contest, which was hosted by Tate and Lyle in Hoffman Estates, Ill. IDFA was a platinum sponsor of the event.

In addition to South Dakota State University, 10 U.S. colleges and universities competed: Clemson University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Missouri, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, Washington State University/University of Idaho and Aims Community College, a newcomer for Colorado. Canada was represented by The University of Alberta.

Sensory Quality of Retail Dairy Products

Among the contest’s goals is the development of students with a passion for improving and sustaining the sensory quality of retail dairy products.

Students tested their palates against professional judges in six different dairy products, fluid milk, butter, yogurt, cheddar cheese, ice cream and cottage cheese. To begin, judges review eight representative samples of the six different dairy products and render judgments on each of dozens of possible attributes and the severity of their departure from the ideal. Students then are challenged to present scorecards with answers that come as close as possible to the judgments of the experts.


Rachel Achen of South Dakota State University took first among undergraduates and Zhong Zhang of the University of Missouri claimed first among graduate students. South Dakota State University won team honors in butter.

Cheddar Cheese

Kate Bond of Clemson University took first place among undergraduates, while Liz Reid of the University of Minnesota won in the graduate student category. Iowa State University claimed team honors.

Cottage Cheese

Kahing Choi of Pennsylvania State University was the top undergraduate, and Liz Reid of the University of Minnesota claimed victory in her second category. The team prize was claimed by the University of Tennessee.

Ice Cream

First place in ice cream went to undergraduate Lindsay Milligan of Washington State University/University of Idaho. Zhong Zhang, a University of Missouri graduate student, took first place in his division. South Dakota State earned team honors.

Fluid Milk

Nian Liu of the University of Alberta was the first international winner of the day, taking first place among undergraduates in fluid milk. Iowa State’s Lily Benner was the top graduate student in milk. The University of Minnesota earned the top team spot.


Thomas Frederic of the University of Tennessee claimed first prize in the undergraduate division, while Liz Reid of Minnesota claimed her third title in the graduate division. Frederic also led his Tennessee Volunteers to first place in the team category.

All Products

In the All Products category, which compiles scores for all products evaluated, Stephanie Brooks of the University of Tennessee took first place in the undergraduate division, while Liz Reid placed first among graduate students. South Dakota State defended its title as the top All Products team at the contest.


In addition to IDFA, the contest garnered sponsorships from more than 35 dairy companies and organizations. View the complete list here

IDFA will host the 94th Dairy Products Evaluation Contest during the International Dairy Show, September 15-18, in Chicago. For more information, contact Robin Cornelison, IDFA trade show director, at

Dairy Delivers