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UTIA dairy products evaluation team ranked first in the nation
Submitted by Beth Hall Davis

Local student participates in competition win

utia judging team
The UT Dairy Products Evaluation Team was recently ranked first in the nation at the 97th Annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest. From left to right, Allison Shaunak, assistant coach; Charles White, coach and adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science; Anita Best, Meryam Idrissi, Bailey Brown, Quint Gasque, Joshua Brantley, McKayla Henley, and Grant Wallen. Image courtesy UTIA.

KNOXVILLE – A talented group of students from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture returned from a dairy competition with high honors, celebrating an entire semester of preparation and hard work. The Dairy Products Evaluation Team recently won several categories at the 97th Annual Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest held in Madison, Wisconsin. Meryam Idrissi, a senior from Knoxville, is a member of the Dairy Products Evaluation Team.

The annual competition is open to collegiate teams of students from across the nation, and students compete in six different dairy categories, butter, cheddar, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream. This year’s competition included 15 teams from various colleges and universities.

In the team award judging, UT students placed first in cottage cheese, yogurt and milk; second place in butter, cheddar and ice cream; and first in the overall competition. Food science students Bailey Brown, Quint Gasque, Anita Best and Josh Brantley also participated in individual competitions. Brown placed first in cottage cheese, and second in both cheddar and ice cream, while Gasque placed second in yogurt. In the individual scores overall, Bailey Brown took first, Quint Gasque second, and Anita Best placed fifth in the nation.

“The students worked very hard this year, with sensory tests multiple times a week at 7:00 a.m.,” says Charles White, the team coach.

Idrissi is the daughter of Souad Mestari and Abdul Idrissi and a graduate of Bearden High School. After graduating in December, she plans to attend school to become a physician assistant.

utia judging team
After returning to Knoxville, students were congratulated by UT Interim President Randy Boyd. Photo by D. Golden, courtesy UTIA.

Team members include Anita Best (Cookeville, Tennessee), Joshua Brantley (Oak Ridge, Tennessee), Bailey Brown (Milan, Tennessee), Quint Gasque (Kingston, Tennessee), McKayla Henley (Decherd, Tennessee), Meryam Idrissi (Knoxville, Tennessee), and Grant Wallen (Seymour, Tennessee). The team is coached by Charles White with assistant coach Allison Shaunak (Memphis, Tennessee).

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Published May 3, 2019

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