Tag Archives: oregon state university

Earning Top Honors: Dairy Awards in Oregon

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.

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Awards

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 Awards

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:

For more winners, visit oregondairy.org.

Oregon Ag Fest Education Awards

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. 

Ida Ruby (lower left) and Jessie DeJager (lower right) of the Oregon Dairy Women receiving the 
2019 OSU Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Award.

College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University

In 2019, at two separate awards ceremonies for the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, five individuals were recognized, including some familiar names. Ida Ruby and Jessie DeJager of the Oregon Dairy Women received the 2019 OSU Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Award. Phil Ward, now a board member for ODNC, received the Distinguished Legacy Award. Greg Harris, the director of farming and agronomy for Threemile Canyon Farms, received the Distinguished Alumni Luminary Award. And our very own Executive Director for ODNC, Pete Kent, took home a College of Agricultural Sciences Hall of Fame honor.

Here are some videos from past recipients:

Greg Harris / Threemile Canyon Farms / Alumni Luminary Award
Phil Ward, USDA Farm Service Agency, Alumni Legacy Award
Pete Kent, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, CAS Hall of Fame

Oregon State University Extension Service

Threemile Canyon Farms (pictured above) was recognized in 2020 with the Cooperator of the Year Award from the Oregon State University Extension Service through it’s work with 4H programs in Morrow County. This award honors individuals and businesses who have made a significant contribution to OSU Extension in program involvement, support and community service.

Jeff Wendler, Director of Livestock at Threemile Canyon Farms, accepting the Cooperator of the Year Award.
Threemile Canyon Farms, winner of the 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.

U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards

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.  

American Cheese Society

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.

World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest

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:

National Milk Producers Federation

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.

Briar Rose Creamery’s Maia Cheese won the Good Food Awards Cheese category in 2019.

Good Food Awards

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. 

Quality Chek’d Production Excellence Awards

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:

Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue cheese won Grand Champion at the World Cheese Awards, 2019.

World Cheese Awards (Bergamo, Italy) 

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.

RELATED LINKS

OREGON’S THREEMILE CANYON FARMS WINS NATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

DAIRY DONE RIGHT: TILLAMOOK HONORED NATIONALLY FOR COMMUNITY IMPACT

FARMING WITH INNOVATION AND HEART EARNS NATIONAL AWARD FOR RICKREALL DAIRY

GOING ROGUE: OREGON CHEESE MAKES A BIG STATEMENT

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OREGON DAIRY WOMEN, AG CONNECTION AWARD WINNERS

Nutrition Leader Honored as Health and wellness Champion

A red plate set at the supper table is a time honored tradition among American families to recognize someone who deserved special praise.

4 years ago, OSU’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventative Health amplified that tradition to start the Moore Family Center Founder’s Red Plate Award. An award designed to recognize professionals who work to help individuals and communities live healthier through good nutrition.

This year’s Red Plate Award was given to Anne Goetze RDN, LD, FAND, OSU alumni and Sr. Director of Nutrition Affairs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC). But she humbly deflects the praise. “I have worked for dairy farm families for many years and am grateful for their commitment to healthy communities. They tend their land, animals and natural resources just as they tend their families, with love and an eye for the future.”

Anne has been committed to Oregon dairy farmers through ODNC for 28 years, educating the public about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. “We absolutely believe dairy products are an irreplaceable part of a healthy diet,” Anne says, “and we’re working to educate Oregonians about how they’re part of a sustainable food system.”

Anne’s work through ODNC influences the nutrition field through farm to table messaging. “It’s the choices people make that impact whether or not we’re going to have farms [in the future].”

An article written by Hanna Knowles, OSU’s assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, says, “Anne’s influence within the nutrition field is wide-ranging. She strives to be a relevant and strategic resource for dairy processors by helping them interpret consumer research, apply new nutrition policies and develop product innovations. She provides current and future dietitians with continuing education and is a conduit for health and nutrition education in Oregon.”

“I learned from the very best, from birth to today,” says Anne, “and I am very grateful to work for Oregon’s dairy farmers.”

It was a unanimous decision to honor Anne with the Red Plate award. Endowed Director of the Moore Family Center, Emily Ho said, “Anne leads with heart, dedication and infectious enthusiasm, which has activated countless others to join the cause of improved health in Oregon.”

Throwing for Tokyo, Driven By Dairy

With the close of the Rio Olympics, the summer games will be out of sight and out of mind for most until the Olympic flame reignites in Japan in 2020. There are some though, whose competitive spirit still burns bright. Melissa Ausman, a national-caliber discus thrower and senior at Concordia University in Oregon, is one such athlete with her sights set on the Tokyo Olympics.melissa-ausman-headshot

It’s a long way to Tokyo from the dairy farm in Nyssa, Oregon, where Melissa grew up – 5,135 miles to be exact. And that dairy farm is where it all began, starting with her relentless work ethic and mental fortitude. Just ask her father, Frank.

“Melissa and all the kids basically started out just like I did as a kid out here; you start with taking care of the baby calves, haying and graining, and you work your way up the ladder,” he said. “Out here, you figure out real quick that it doesn’t matter what day it is or how cold or hot it is or whatever, the work has to be done.”dairy farm in nyssa oregon

Melissa agreed, “There are no days off when you’re on the dairy, or trying to reach your goals.”

Ausman began throwing for sport in seventh grade, when she discovered her drive to become an Olympic athlete. Her throwing career was instigated by her competitive side, urging her to throw better than her older brother. She continued to improve over the years that followed, winning state in high school, setting records at Oregon State University, and now training for that next big step at Concordia University.

Currently, she can throw a discus 53.91 meters (176.87 feet), which is beyond the width of an NFL football field. This distance has Ausman just 40 feet away from qualifying for the Olympics. Within two years, she will achieve this mark if she continues to add distance at her current pace.

Ausman has immersed herself completely into her training. Even on her weekly rest day where she stays home from the gym, she continually trains her mind by learning how to improve. That means keeping current on Olympic medalists and working aspects of their training into her routines. She has also learned the importance of balance. melissa-ausman-training

“I’m a sister, daughter, student, athlete — and each one represents a spoke on a wheel,” said Ausman. “If I spend too much on one spoke, then I have a lumpy, lopsided wheel.” After coming to this realization during her sophomore year, Ausman found her balance and beat her personal discus record by 19 feet.

Ausman also depends on the nutritional benefits of dairy in her training regimen. She shamelessly sports an overstuffed bag full of whey protein powder containers to ensure access to nutrition after workouts. Before bed, Melissa’s favorite snack is cottage cheese with pears and cinnamon. She also enjoys greek yogurt as a replacement for mayonnaise; one of many gems she has gleaned from her avid Pinterest searching. To Ausman, training in the kitchen and fueling her body properly is another vital spoke in her wheel of life.

What advice does Melissa offer to aspiring athletes? “Whatever effort you are willing to put into your sport, the results will come accordingly,” she said. “No one else is going to give you the drive to be the best.” She also warned against dwelling on setbacks, suggesting that you can’t get stuck in the past if you want to be focused on your future.
Speaking of the future, what do mom and dad think of Melissa’s Olympic aspirations?

“Oh, she’ll get there, I’m sure,” said Frank. “Anytime I have ever doubted her, she has proven me wrong.”

“She gets her mind set on what she wants to do, and that’s what she’s going to do,” said Lyndia. “I’m not going to put off getting a passport.”