Food Science Students Celebrate Hard Work with National Awards

Picture of dairy evaluation team at competition
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. Download image​

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A talented group of students from the University of Tennessee Herbert College 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. 

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 a.m.,” says Charles White, team coach and an adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science.

Team members include Anita Best (a senior from Cookeville, Tennessee), Joshua Brantley (a junior from Oak Ridge, Tennessee), Bailey Brown (a senior from Milan, Tennessee), Quint Gasque (a junior from Kingston, Tennessee), McKayla Henley (a senior from Decherd, Tennessee), Meryam Idrissi (a senior from Knoxville, Tennessee), and Grant Wallen (a senior from Seymour, Tennessee). Allison Shaunak, a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, served as assistant coach. 

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Charles White, Food Science, 205-422-6455

Jessica Black, Food Science, 865-974-7199, ​