The Merced County Fair's Milk Producer's Quality Control Contest for Grade "A" Dairies will be held at the Merced County Fairgrounds April 19. An invitation-only luncheon will follow the judging.
Fair staff will tabulate the judges' flavor and bacteria scores for hundreds of samples from Merced, Madera, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Sacramento counties. The judging results — the highest scoring milk producers and the creameries they sell milk to — will be announced before the fair, and awards will be presented to the winners at the awards ceremony during the fair June 13-17.
About 40 judges representing creameries, labs, county environmental health departments, college and university animal science departments and the USDA score the milk using a flavor score sheet to assess samples. About 40 percent of California's milk comes from the counties that participate in the fair's contest.The contest was started by Haydn J. "Mickey" Sartori, a state dairy inspector, who died in 1997. The contest was renamed in his honor in 1998. The competition was established to improve the quality of dairy products in Merced, Madera, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Sacramento counties.
It serves as an educational tool and incentive for milk producers who don't distribute their own products but sell them to companies for processing and distribution, the fair said in a news release. The object of the contest is to give producers an opportunity to show their skills in producing high-grade milk and to recognize their abilities.
Presented by the 35th District Agricultural Association, the 121st annual fair's theme is "Cows Just Wanna Have Fun!" For more information call (209) 722-1507, fax at (209) 722-3773 email to Info@MercedCountyFair.com, go to www.MercedCountyFair.com, connect on Facebook and follow on Twitter.