Sustainable Communities Dairy contributes to strong, thriving communities and is accessible to all.
Dairy farmers are proud members of America’s essential workforce.
The dairy community is working hard to ensure every child has access to nutrient-rich foods, including dairy foods, to help them grow, learn and thrive. Read about school breakfast and child nutrition programs in Oregon.
Each year, farmers and dairy companies work with local food banks to deliver nutritious dairy foods to those in need, providing 469 million pounds of dairy- including milk, cheese and yogurt – to Feeding America in 2020 alone. Find out more about how farmers fight Hunger.
Looking for more information on how dairy nourishes people while responsibly caring for our planet and animals?Join the Dairy Nourishes Network.
Members of the network receive the latest dairy research, resources and recipes, as well as opportunities for free continuing education.
Sustainability, quality, innovation … you could say the Oregon dairy community has a lot to celebrate. And you’d be right! Over the past couple of years, our producers, processors, and individuals within the community keep setting the bar higher, earning recognition regionally, nationally, and even internationally.
To acknowledge individuals for their lifelong contributions to Oregon’s Dairy Industry, the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association presents two annual awards at the state convention. Recent recipients have included:
Community Service Award – Roger and Jessie DeJager (2020)
Distinguished Service Award – Troy Downing (2020)
Community Service Award – Tom Johnson (2019)
Distinguished Service Award – Will Wise and Julie Hoffman (2019)
Oregon Dairy Industries, also known as ODI, was founded in 1910 to promote and elevate interest in dairy food products in the western United States. Each year, exceptional ODI members are recognized with the Oregon Dairy Industries Award. The 2020 Sweepstakes Award recipients included:
Oregon Ag Fest seeks to reward student organizations, nonprofit groups or classrooms that promote and educate Oregonians about agriculture. In 2020, Lost River FFA of Merrill, Oregon, won first place, and the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador program won second place. The Oregon Dairy Women’s Dairy Princess Ambassador Program was created in 1959 to promote and provide outreach on behalf of the Oregon dairy industry. In 2019, they were able to reach more than 10,000 students statewide with in school presentations and county fairs. In 2020, they adjusted their programs to meet students virtually.
The Oregon dairy community has proven they can walk the walk when talking about sustainability. As an annual award that recognizes dairy farms, businesses and collaborative partnerships that demonstrate outstanding economic, environmental and social benefits, Oregon provides powerful examples of dairy sustainability leadership.
The American Cheese Society Judging and Competition is the largest competition of its kind for American cheese. The awards are designed to shine a spotlight on American cheesemakers by showcasing their talents and work as leaders within the industry. Unfortunately, this competition has been cancelled for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many Oregon cheesemakers were celebrated in 2019.
This contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, is unique because it includes all dairy products. This competition was also cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but it gives us an opportunity to continue celebrating Oregon’s winners in 2019:
A celebration of American cheesemakers, NMPF’s yearly competition went virtual in 2020. In spite of the virtual contest, they still received nearly 190 entries of cheese and cottage cheese. Darigold claimed top honors for Best Cottage Cheese last year with their Pineapple Cottage Cheese.
Presented by the Good Food Foundation, this award is not solely focused on dairy food products, and it is judged on quality, sustainability and socially responsible production. Amongst the nearly 2,000 entries in 16 different categories, Oregon creameries have been highlighted several years running.
These awards recognize its member creameries that go above and beyond in a variety of categories, including: production, quality, marketing, and customer service, highlighting superior performance in finished product quality, plant appearance, cleanliness, efficiency, management leadership and process control. Criteria includes laboratory test scores and evaluation of a plant’s process systems. The 2020 award winners included:
In the Olympics of all cheese competitions, cheeses are sent from around the world to be judged in a single day. Judges work in teams of three to identify cheeses worthy of a gold, silver, or bronze award based on the rind, color, texture, consistency and of course, taste. All teams also nominate a “Super Gold” from their table, and those top cheeses are judged a second time by a “Super Jury” of international judges. The final cheeses are debated in front of a live consumer and trade audience before choosing the Grand Champion Cheese on live television. In 2019, the first-ever American cheese was selected as the best in the world, and it was from Oregon.
This string of impressive awards and accomplishments speaks volumes about the individuals and organizations integral to the Oregon dairy community. Oregon may be a smaller dairy state compared to others in the U.S., but our positive impacts, high standards and great accomplishments continue to put our state among the best in class – now and into the future.
Spring is in the air, a time when many high school graduates and college students are looking to the future as they consider higher education and their future careers. Luckily, there are scholarships available to help pay for the ever-increasing costs.
The dairy community and others in the world of agriculture are also looking to the future as they seek to invest in the next generation of students who are seeking to make their career home in agriculture.
If you’re interested in an agricultural-related degree, don’t miss out on these scholarship opportunities! Deadlines are fast approaching, so the time to act is now.
Awarded to students majoring in Animal Science, Food Science, Veterinary Science, Nutrition, Dietetics or other areas related or having an impact on the dairy industry, or be the son or daughter of an Oregon dairy family or worked on a dairy for at least two years or had a 4-H or FFA dairy project for four years.
Connecting college students from across the country who are passionate about sharing positive information about animal agriculture.
Oregon has many great institutions where students can earn degrees at all levels from associate to doctoral, gaining work experience along the way. There are many career opportunities related to agriculture and food production to fit many interests, from food science to animal nutrition, veterinary services to agronomy.