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Dept of Animal Sciences, Creamery scoop up national award

Hucklerry Swirl, top seller at Ferdinand's Ice Cream Shoppe, won the 2015 Big Scoop Ice Cream Competition.
Hucklerry Swirl, top seller at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, won the 2015 Big Scoop Ice Cream Competition.

Great milk from Washington State University’s Knott Dairy Center makes for ice cream so good it beats all comers.

“If you start with a good raw product, you end up with a quality end product,” says John Haugen, manager of the WSU Creamery. His top-selling flavor at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Huckleberry Swirl, won the people’s choice award at the 2015 American Society of Animal Sciences Ice Cream Competition.

Thousands of attendees voted with their spoons at the society’s national meeting in Orlando, Fla., this past summer and chose Huckleberry Swirl over eight other competitors. Now, the WSU Department of Animal Sciences hosts the traveling “Big Scoop” trophy in its lounge until 2016. The department also received $1,000 in prize money in the second year of collegiate competition for the Big Scoop. The funds will be used to enhance student experiences.

The national award showcases not only Ferdinand’s ice cream, but also the undergraduate programs and opportunities in the Department of Animal Sciences.

The department prioritizes experiential learning for its students, many of whom learn about the dairy industry from cow to cone.

“The Department of Animal Sciences is privileged to have the WSU Creamery as a partner in the campus dairy operations, and the Big Scoop award attests to the quality outcomes that result from this partnership,” said Kris Johnson, interim chair of Animal Sciences.

“We have a unique relationship with the dairy farm,” Haugen said. “We know exactly where our milk is coming from, and if they give us extra-high-quality milk, we pay them a little extra.”

The Big Scoop trophy will sit in the Department of Animal Sciences lounge until next summer.
The Big Scoop trophy will sit in the Department of Animal Sciences lounge until next summer.

The Creamery uses 1,700 gallons of milk per day from the 150-cow Knott dairy, located just outside of Pullman. Thirty-five cows owned and managed by the Cooperative University Dairy Students (CUDS) club contribute to the daily milk delivery.

“Our students know the cows they manage are an important part of WSU’s reputation for quality dairy products,” said Margaret Benson, Professor of Animal Sciences, who entered the ice cream in the competition. “They strive to use best management practices that maintain animal health and wellbeing to produce wholesome food, including fantastic ice cream and cheese. We entered Huckleberry Swirl knowing we couldn’t lose.”

The Big Scoop award “confirms we’re doing the right thing and that people like the product,” Haugen said.

• Learn more about undergraduate studies, clubs and research at the WSU Department of Animal Sciences here.

• Learn more about the WSU Creamery and Ferdinand’s Ice Cream here.

Media Contacts

Kristen A., Interim Chair, (509) 335-4131