Dairy Judging

Each year, Oregon Dairy Industries holds an annual evaluation of products from membership plants. The objective of the evaluation is to promote the production of high quality dairy products in the Pacific Northwest. The products are judged by a panel of trained, unbiased experts led by Professor Lisbeth Goddik. Test results are not public, but the winners within each product category are honored at the ODI Annual Conference each year. This will be announced here on our site.

Oregon Dairy Industries Dairy Products Contest Rules

Revised March 2014

Contest Objective

The objective of the ODI dairy product contest is to promote the production of high quality dairy products.



Only plant members of ODI may submit products


Plants may submit more than one product per category though only one product will compete in the contest. Plants must specify, in advance, which product is the official entry; other products will receive complementary judging.

If more that one product is submitted within the same product category, the official entry should be the product marketed locally.

An ODI plant member can submit products co-packed at other ODI member plants, even when these products are similar to products submitted by the co-packers under another label.

Products submitted to the contest should be standard products. Except for the score butter contest, ODI discourages changing standard procedures to make special products that are more likely to receive high scores.

Evaluation Procedure

The official ODI contact at each plant will be notified approximately 3 weeks prior to the contest. It is the responsibility of each plant to ship products to OSU prior to the contest. Products arriving too late will not participate in the contest but may receive complementary scores if the judges agree to do so. Plants should contact the contest supervisor to discuss delivery schedules because most local products can be picked up at the plants by ODA or by the contest supervisor.

Products are blinded and judged based on USDA product score sheets. Employees from participating plants are encouraged to attend the judging though only official judges’ scores will be recorded. Results are mailed to participating plants.


ODI judges are professionals who have shown talent for evaluating dairy products and who are familiar with the score sheets. Judges do not know the identity of the products. The reputation of the contest depends on the integrity of the judges, and ODI expects all judges to behave in an unbiased, professional manner. People wishing to become official judges should contact the contest supervisor.

Product Categories

The following product categories are evaluated:


  • skim milk
  • low fat milk (1 or 2%)
  • whole milk
  • half & half cream
  • chocolate milk


  • retail butter
  • score butter

Cultered Products

  • plain yogurt
  • strawberry yogurt
  • greek-style yogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • sour cream
  • butter milk

Ice Cream

  • vanilla ice cream
  • strawberry ice cream
  • chocolate ice cream


  • medium/mild cheddar
  • aged cheddar.

Score butter is the only category which is not packed in retail package. Score butter is entered by the individual butter maker and should be packaged in plastic seal-able containers as specified by Lisbeth Goddik (minimum 5 pounds recommended).


Points are given based on ADSA/USDA’s score sheets. To be eligible for awards such as first or second place within product categories and sweepstakes, the products must score within the gold range.

Product Gold (points range)

Fluid milk & cream    25.00-23.00
Frozen dairy dessert    25.00-22.00
Butter    25.00-22.00
Cheddar cheese    25.00-22.00
Cottage cheese    25.00-22.00
Sour cream    25.00-22.00
Buttermilk    25.00-22.00
Yogurt    25.00-22.00


All awards will be distributed at ODI’s annual conference. Gold products will receive honorary mention in the program. Except for fluid milk & cream, all other product categories compete for first and second place. In addition, sweepstakes for fluid milks, frozen dairy desserts, and cultured products are awarded based on average of best three out of four possible products (milk & cultured products) and average of three products (ice cream).

ODI Policy on Advertising

Paid ODI members may advertise the ODI Products Judging results using these guidelines: 1) Any advertisement must include the year in which the award was received; 2) An advertisement appearing on any carton or package must not outlive the ODI Award Year. Ex: An ad may run from just after the ODI Awards Ceremony to just before the ODI Award Ceremony the next year; 3) The wording used in any advertisement must reflect the actual wording of the Award, Ex: “Sweepstakes Award, Fluid Milk, ODI 2017”.

If this policy is violated the plant shall be prohibited from participation in the ODI contest for a period of three years.