2024 Idaho Milk Processors Association Annual Conference

Sun Valley, ID | August 8 - 9, 2024

Dairy Contest

RULES 2024 Idaho Milk Processors Annual Dairy Product Contest 

Please Note:  Dates may change below.  Please contact Julie Winans for the most up to date information.
Julie Winans at 920-390-9933 or 


The 28th Annual Idaho Milk Processors Cheese Contest will be here before you know it.  All dairy product entries will be judged on Tuesday, August 6 at the Glanbia Nutritionals’ production facility in Twin Falls, ID, prior to the IMPA Conference to be held at the Sun Valley Resort, August 8 - 9, 2024.  The IMPA board wants to encourage all eligible processors of any size, to participate.


All entries shall be made from Bovine milk.  No product(s) will be accepted if sourced in whole or in part from the milk of other lactating mammals.  Members/Associate Members of IMPA may submit qualifying entries to the contest at no charge. To qualify, the milk used in the manufacture of those Member entries must be sourced from within Idaho/Utah or have close ties to those states. There is an exception for the Farmstead and Artisan classes (see below).  Please refer to www.IMPA.US for membership information and contest rules.  Rules are posted on the website and will be mailed out this summer with the entry packet.

Class 14 & 15 (Farmstead & Artisan)

Entries to Class 14 & 15 must be processed from within one of the following eligible states: Idaho, Utah, Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Oregon.  IMPA non-Members may submit entries only if they qualify within Classes 14 & 15 and at a cost of $75 per entry submission.  We encourage you to enter as many classes as you wish and look forward to your entries.

Contest Category Classes

Class 1 – Current Cheddar Cheese - Cheese less than 3 months old; must be manufactured on or after May 8, 2024; date of manufacture to be stated on the entry form

Class 2 - Medium Cheddar Cheese - Cheese 3 to 6 months old; must be manufactured between Feb 5 and May 8, 2024; date of manufacture to be stated on the entry form

Class 3 – Sharp Cheddar Cheese - Cheese 6 to 12 months old, manufactured on or between August 6, 2023 and Feb 6, 2024; date of manufacture to be stated on the entry form

Class 4 – Aged Cheddar Cheese – 12- 24 months old, manufactured on or between August 6, 2023 and August 6, 2022; date of manufacture to be stated on the entry form

Class 5 – Aged Cheddar Cheese – Cheese older than 24 months, manufactured before August 6, 2022; date of manufacture to be stated on the entry form

Class 6 – Colby/Monterey Jack – Colby, Monterey Jack, Muenster and any other mixed, washed curd cheeses

Class 7 – Hard Italian Cheese – Class to include Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, cotija types of cheese, cheese with a rind, etc.; date of manufacture and brief description to be stated on the entry form

Class 8 – Soft/Semi-soft and Fresh Italian Cheese – Class to include fresh cheese, mozzarella, string cheese, Provolone etc.

Class 9 - Spiced Cheese – Cheese flavored with peppers of any kind, peppercorns or savory spices (Open to all varieties of base cheese); please provide a brief description of the cheese to aid in judging

Class 10 – Flavored Cheese – Cheese flavored with herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, syrups or smoked cheeses (Open to all varieties of base cheese); please provide a brief description of the cheese

Class 11 – Open Reduced Fat Cheese – Cheese manufactured to contain a minimum of 20% less fat than the normal composition standard, to include all reduced fat products

Class 12 - Open Class: blue cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, continental cheeses, cheese spreads and any products that do not meet the requirements of the other classes; please provide a brief description of the entry

Class 13 – Swiss Cheese – Swiss cheese and baby Swiss; please indicate which type and date of manufacture

Class 14 Farmstead* – Limited to cheese and fermented milk products made with bovine milk from herds on the farm of where the products are produced; please provide a brief description of the entry

Class 15Artisan* - Total production of cheese and/or cultured product must not exceed 500,000 lb. per year.  Products must be commercially available at the time of the contest

Class 16 – Cultured Dairy Products – all cultured products including yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream or yogurt-based dips and spreads.
Class 17 – Butter – to include all types of butter

Class 18 - Granular Cheese for Manufacturing

*Classes 14 and 15 only, are open to all to processors from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming and Washington.  If you are not an IMPA member or associate member, there is a $75.00 entry fee/ entry, payable to IMPA.

The contest rules allow each Member/Associate Member Company to enter any number of contest classes.  If you enter more than one entry per class, a separate individual must be assigned to each entry.  If more than one entry is submitted to an individual class by the same individual it will be the right of the contest judges to randomly select one entry before judging begins.  1st, 2nd and 3rd Place ribbons will be presented for each class.  The class awards will recognize the manufacturing company as well as the individual assigned to the entry.

Each Class Champion will be auctioned at the IMPA Conference Wine and Cheese Social on Thursday, August 8, 2024 to fund the IMPA Scholarship Program.  Second-place winners will be displayed and available for tasting at the wine and cheese social Thursday evening. All remaining entries will be donated to local food banks.  We look forward to another successful contest!



All entries must be delivered or shipped to Glanbia Nutritionals Production plant in Twin Falls, ID to arrive on or between the dates of Monday July 29 and Friday August 2.

Ship to:

ATTN: Dalibor Bampa
IMPA Dairy Contest
Glanbia Foods Inc.
236 Washington Street So.
Twin Falls, ID  83301

  1. Judging

Industry judges will grade the cheese on Tuesday, August 6th, 2024.  Defects will be identified and recorded.  Defects will be identified as being Very Slight, Slight, Definite or Pronounced.  There is a cap at -0.5 points deducted for appearance

            Very Slight      Evident under very close examination    0.1-0.5
            Slight               Evident under critical examination         0.6-1.5
            Definite            Easily detected                                      1.6-2.5
            Pronounced     Intense defect, easily detected                2.6- +

Two judges will independently evaluate each entry and determine a score.  The two scores will be averaged, and a final score determined.  A score is determined based on 100 possible points minus Judges’ critiques.  Places will be determined by highest score.  If a tie occurs, the highest average flavor score will determine the higher position.  If a tie still exists, a decision will be determined by a re-grade.  Grand Champion will be chosen from all first-place entries (except class 18).  The Grand Champion round is graded based on flavor only.  Grade sheets will be signed by each judge and will be available following the awards presentation Thursday evening.  Please try to pick up your grading sheets that night.


  • Awards will be made by contributions of Idaho Milk Processors’ supplier organizations.
  • First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded for each class.
  • A Grand Champion ribbon and plaque will be provided for the “Best” over-all entry.
  • A ribbon will be awarded for the First and Second Runners up.
  • For questions contact Dairy Product Contest Chair, Julie Winans at 920-390-9933 or julwi@novonesis.com