Challenge Celebrates a Century of Dairy

DUBLIN, CALIF., (March 15, 2011) – Challenge Dairy Products, Inc., the cooperative association responsible for marketing and distributing dairy products produced from 500 family-owned dairies, today kicks off its Centennial Anniversary celebration with a sweepstakes commemorating its icon, the elk. In the “Real Challenge, Real Adventure” sweepstakes, one lucky fan will win a trip to Yellowstone National Park to elk watch. This is the first of many promotions Challenge has in store to honor the past 100 years and reward its loyal customers.

At a legendary 100, Challenge is still innovating. It has paved the way for the dairy business in social media, accumulating 30,000 Facebook fans for Challenge Butter, more than any other butter organization. It also recently broadened the spreadable butter category with the introduction of Tuscan Style Butter, which is flavored with slow-roasted garlic, olive oil and Italian herbs, including rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme. They were also the first major butter brand to go rbST-Free.

A century ago, the Challenge Cream & Butter Company opened for business with four employees and a wagon. That first day, Challenge sold 12 pounds of butter. Today, Challenge Butter is the largest butter brand in the Western United States.

Why Challenge? Legend has it the company name "Challenge" was selected in 1911 by J.R. Murphy, the first General Manager of Challenge Cream and Butter Association, when he studied a mural on the wall that showed two elk coming together to spar for the position of "king of the forest." Under this mural were the words, "The Challenge."

Mr. Murphy felt this truly represented what he and the dairymen were setting out to accomplish. They were “challenging” the other dairy organizations with a product that was known for its quality. That quality is the foundation for Challenge’s continued success and leading position in the dairy retail and food service categories today.

“We are proud of the tradition for quality that Challenge has maintained since its inception,” said Irvin Holmes, CEO of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. “Our farmers’ dedication to provide products of the highest standards for our customers has enabled the brand to become the western consumers’ favorite brand of butter. Challenge’s commitment to and reputation for providing the best will see the organization through another 100 years.“

Challenge started with a handful of dairymen with a common need and has gradually grown to include more than 500 dairy farm families, all of whom are dedicated to producing the best tasting, highest quality products. Challenge is a wholly owned subsidiary of California Dairies Inc. (CDI), the second largest dairy cooperative in the United States.

Challenge’s foodservice division is the leading dairy provider in California, with eight distribution centers and more than 1,000 products ranging from eggs to ice cream.

Challenge has much to celebrate and will be offering promotions throughout the year in honor of its 100th birthday. Fans can enter and find more information on the current Challenge Butter “Real Challenge, Real Adventure” sweepstakes at or on Challenge Butter’s Facebook page. The contest closes on May 23, 2011.