Falls dairyman defends pie-eating title

Contest raises $22,572 for youth dairy education

Former White House Chef Walter Scheib was a dark horse entry in the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation Pie Eating Finals held Wednesday night during the Professional Dairy Producers Business Conference in Madison, Wis. Scheib, along with two other runners-up, could not devour as much pie as defending champion Dean Strauss, dairy producer from Sheboygan Falls, Wis. With his win, Strauss defended the title he earned one year ago.

The 2014 Pie Eating Contest doubled the amount of money raised in last year’s contest, with $22,572 going toward educational programming by the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation. The new record was reached thanks to spirited campaigning among the finalists, and Scheib’s late entry cooked up by generous sponsors who propelled him into the finals.

Joining Scheib and Strauss in the Pie Eating Finals were two other contestants: Keith Engel, GEA Farm Technologies, and Mike Hutjens, professor emeritus, University of Illinois. Contestants who fell just short of the finals were Marty Hallock, dairy producer from Mondovi; Carl Babler of Atten Babler Commodities; Mark Clarke, executive director of the Alliant Energy Center; and Jim Dickrell, editor and associate publisher of Dairy Today magazine. The Finalists earned their positions by garnering votes prior to the Finals.

Each vote was a $1 donation to the Foundation, made by dairy farmers and dairy industry professionals who supported their favorite candidates. Scheib, who earlier in the evening gave the keynote address to Business Conference attendees, made the Finals thanks to a spontaneous sponsorship on stage by John Roach and Associates, Breeze Dairy Group, First Capitol Ag, matched by Charlie Arnot, president of CMA Consulting.

“The Pie Eating Contest is a fun way to end a great day at the Professional Dairy Producers Business Conference,” says Deb Reinhart, Development Manager for the Foundation. “We thank the dairy community and these fun-loving, dedicated contestants who raised money to support youth and dairy community education projects.”


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