WSU scoops up top award with Huckleberry Ripple ice cream

The Washington State University's Huckleberry Ripple ice cream flavor has won a national contest sponsored by the American Society of Animal Sciences Ice Cream Competition.

Washington State University’s Huckleberry Ripple flavor has won a national ice cream contest for the third year in a row.

The ice cream flavor, created by students, won the Big Scoop award at the American Society of Animal Sciences Ice Cream Competition July 9 in Baltimore, Md.

“We see people enjoy our ice cream on a daily basis, but it’s good to send it out in the world and see it compete with other universities,” said Dave Soler, assistant creamery manager at WSU. “Coming out on top is always a good feeling.”

WSU competed against North Carolina State University and the University of Connecticut. The animal sciences department received $1,000 in prize money, to be spent on student activities, and will host the traveling trophy through 2018.

It’s the second time Huckleberry Ripple won, Soler said. Last year, WSU’s Apple Cup Crisp flavor took home the big prize.

According to WSU, the creamery uses 1,700 gallons of milk per day from Knott Dairy Farm, a 150-cow farm near Pullman, Wash., which includes a small herd owned and managed by the Cooperative University Dairy Students, or CUDS.

A student production crew maintains quality standards at the creamery.

Kris Johnson, interim chairwoman with WSU’s Department of Animal Sciences, said the award highlights the students at the dairy and the food science department who make the ice cream and created the winning flavor.

“It’s a really nice illustration of how two really great undergraduate programs can result in something we’re all really proud of,” she said.

A commercial supplier provides the huckleberries for Huckleberry Ripple.

Soler credits the relationship with the dairy, CUDS and the student production crew at the creamery with the victory.

“We make cheese and ice cream, but our goal is also to produce high-quality, exceptional students who are going to enter the industry and make big impacts,” he said.

Several CUDS members also work in the creamery.

“They’re on the dairy getting the cow side of things and then they’re in the creamery getting the production and processing side of things, too,” Soler said. “They’re leaving here with just a fantastic education. Our goal is to produce outstanding students who are going to go out, be successful and impact agriculture in a positive way.”

Johnson plans to compete for the trophy again next year. The next meeting will be in Canada, she said, so “I’ve got to figure out how to get Huckleberry Ripple across the border.”

Undergraduate students create a summer flavor every year. This year’s is lemon chiffon with raspberry ripple, Johnson said.

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