Masthead October

From September 16-18, the ACS staff in Denver (along with great volunteers from our member community) set up shop at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The event, presented by the Brewer's Association, featured more than 2,200 beers and 49,000 people -- and ACS was invited to sample cheeses to all of them!


GABF Table
The ACS booth at GABF.

Attendees waited up to 45 minutes for a taste of the ACS booth. The booth was one of the most popular at GABF -- and it was made even better when Rogue Ales,  Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Pagosa Brewing Co., and others generously provided beers to pair with ACS member cheeses.

Look for ACS at GA BF in 2011 with more cheese, and new partnerships with regional brewers. Thanks to all who contributed product this year!

Recipe of the Month:

Smokey Blue Gougeres

Smokey Blue Gougeres

Gougeres (savory puff pastries) are simpler to make than you might imagine! Try this recipe, featuring
blue cheese, as the perfect side dish for your next special gathering.

This recipe is provided courtesy of
Lydia Radke of Caseus Fromagerie Bistro in New Haven, CT
Cheese in the News

 The Dairyland Renaissance - Madison Magazine, Oct 2010

No One Has Her Goats
- WBUR Radio Boston, Sept 28

Extra Cultures Help Diversify Cheese Flavours - Cheese Reporter, Sept 27

What's Fueling the Battle over Raw Milk? TIME Magazine, Sept 26

Carmarthenshire Cheesemaker Wins Supreme Champion Title - BBC News, Sep 25

National Group Hopes to Link Cheesemakers with Chefs, Retailers - The Canadian Press, Sept 24

Extra Cheese, Please - New York Times Blog, Sept 20

Miami Will be the World Capital of Artisan Cheese in March 2011 - Bradenton Herald, Sept 16


ACS in the News

Extra Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve: America's Best - Di Bruno Bros. Blog, Sept 29

American Cheese Society Conference 2010 - Covering the Rind, Sept 27

Baetje, Goatsbeard win American Cheese Society Awards - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept 17


GABF Coverage - Full Pint, Sept 17


New Member Profile:
Lark's Meadow Farms

At Lark's Meadow Farms, farming and cheesemaking is a family affair. It all began in 2008, with Mark and Emily Reynolds, who wanted their grandchildren "to get involved with agriculture just enough so they wouldn't believe milk was made in the store."

Their daughter, Rachel (a high school principal), was about to marry Sean, a biochemist -- and most importantly, a cheese lover. Rachel wanted their wedding cake to be wheels of cheese, so the family went to Beehive Cheese Company in Utah, where they were treated to a tour. The whole family was smitten... (Read full profile)

Call for Cheese: The
National Wine Experience

The National Wine Experience (NWE) will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 20. Attendees will sample wines from throughout the United States, as well as cheese from ACS members. ACS will be the event's official Artisan Cheese Sponsor.

Members can participate by sending cheese to be sampled at NWE. Email us if you would like to be involved.

Renew Your U.S. Passport
Final Passport
If you are considering traveling to the 2011 ACS Conference & Competition in Montr�al from the United States, there is no better time than the present to make sure your passport is up-to-date! The U.S. Department of State recommends renewing your passport approximately nine months before it expires. If your current passport will be due for renewal in the next year, we strongly encourage you to begin the process now.

You can easily renew by mail if your current passport meets the criteria outlined on the U.S. Department of State websiteIf you don't meet all of the criteria, you can also renew your passport in person at a local Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency. We hope you will plan ahead to ensure the smoothest travel to Montr�al in 2011!

Make Your Voice Heard
Christine Hyatt

Greetings Fellow ACS Members! I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the harvest season in your corner of the world, whether on the farm, in the creamery, or in the cheese shop. Autumn is traditionally a time of reaping the rewards of hard work throughout the growing season.

For ACS, this is particularly true this year. One year ago at our fall meeting, the ACS board voted to pursue self management with a team dedicated to helping us achieve our strategic goals. Over the course of the last year, most of our energies were focused on the transition process: recruiting a talented and passionate team, transferring information and setting up systems in the new headquarters, and creating a conference rich in educational and networking opportunities.

We are now ready to refocus the energies of our association toward preparing for what lies ahead. In mid-October, your board of directors will again meet for the annual fall meeting in Montr�al, to begin planning the 2011 conference -- our first ever in Canada! -- and to revisit strategic initiatives for 2011 and beyond.

Based on the 2009 Member Survey (view results here), Town Hall Meeting transcripts from Austin and Seattle, and direct member feedback, there is clear momentum to focus more in several key areas:  Education, Networking and Regional Events for members and consumers. 

At our meeting, the board will prioritize resources to support these areas and generate specific action items. In late October, we will send out our 2010 member survey, asking you for specific input on how you'd like to see these efforts implemented to provide even more year-round member value in 2011. 

In 2009, 287 responses were tabulated out of 985 surveys for a response rate of just under 30%. It would be incredible to exceed a 50% response for 2010. Please, help ACS better plan for our future -- make your voice heard when the survey hits your inbox. And if you would like to contribute even more to make ACS a stronger organization, consider volunteering your time and talents at the annual conference, or on one of our year-round committees. If you're interested in getting more involved, drop us a line at [email protected].


Christine Hyatt


Why Do You Ask?

cheese conferenceIn my daughter's third grade class, it seems that it's always the kids who ask the most questions who are also the most engaged, active learners. It's a good reminder that in order to learn, you need to ask a lot of questions -- and pay attention to the answers. That is why ACS conducts surveys. We ask questions to learn what our members want and need. The information we gather directly informs what we do. For example, the feedback from this year's post-conference survey has given us valuable input and insight as we plan

next year's conference in Montr�al. Later this fall, we'll be seeking your input on other aspects of your membership in ACS. I hope you'll take the time to respond and share your thoughts and ideas with us. Our asking is just the start. Your answers will help us learn, and that's knowledge we can turn into action so that ACS can better serve your needs.


Nora Weiser
Executive Director

Understanding Nexus Regulations

In this economy, it is important to make the best of marketing opportunities to promote and sell your cheese, services and wares at festivals, events and farmers markets. Perhaps, a few of these sales opportunities will be located outside of your state's borders.

If this is the case, you may unknowingly expose yourself to a tax liability that will require you to pay taxes for all of your sales into that particular state for a period of time. Such was the case for a few our member cheesemakers who recently attended a regional cheese festival and sold their cheese at a farmers market. These members felt ambushed by state department of revenue officers, and paid thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties and consultant fees for cheese they allegedly sold in that state for the last five years - and they will be paying for the next five years because of state Nexus rules.

Because of this situation, as well as a growth in farmers market-style regional events and an increase in the appetite of state government for revenue streams to offset deficits, the ACS Board of Directors worked with a professional tax advisor to create guidelines for our members to follow, should you decide to sell and market outside of your state. Before you attend an out-of-state event to showcase and sell your cheese or services, please read these guidelines.


David Gremmels


ACS Builds a Body of Knowledge

Have you ever stood with an inspector in your shop or make room, and wished you had research on somatic cell count at your fingertips? Are you a cheese counter employee wondering whether there is a career path for you in cheese? Do you wish your staff could be recognized for their comprehensive expertise?

Know that ACS hears you, and has embarked on a grand scheme to respond to your needs. We are well on the way to developing a Body of Knowledge document that will serve as a step in the direction of creating a Certification exam for cheese professionals. The Body of Knowledge will be a foundation document that outlines agreed-upon standards, practices, and collective expertise. This will eventually include references, links, citations, appendices, a bibliography, and a glossary. It will take the form of an outline, and when first published, it will simply be a starting point that grows and evolves with time, as more detail is added and references and appendices are collected for inclusion.


The Body of Knowledge will be made available for purchase to ACS members in 2011. It will exist as an electronic document with search capabilities. To learn more about plans for a Body of Knowledge and a Certification exam, read a comprehensive overview provided by Sue Sturman, a leader of the ACS Certification team. We look forward to sharing more information with our members as this exciting project evolves!

ACE Foundation: Voices from 2010
Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation -- a charitable organization that supports ACS educational programming for those interested in artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese -- distributes scholarships to industry members who would otherwise be unable to attend the annual ACS Conference & Competition. At the 2010 conference in Seattle, recipients included ten cheesemakers, three retailers, and one chef. Feedback from scholarship recipients about their time in Seattle has been very positive. A selection of comments can be found online; an example is below.

 "I needed to take a break from the day to day operations to appreciate how far we have come and where we need to go, and what we need to do to get there... I also went to meet new people, make connections, explore ideas I don't usually have time to ponder in my regular life. I got all that and more.." 

                                               - Jennifer Perkins, Scholarship Recipient

ACS is grateful to those who contributed to the ACE Foundation in this past year. If you would like to support scholarships for our 2011 conference in Montral, visit the ACE Foundation website or email us.

Looking for additional ways to support the ACE Foundation? If you live in Oregon or Washington State, be sure to stop into a Burgerville restaurant and enjoy an Echo Mountain Blue Burger, featuring Rogue Creamery's Echo Mountain Blue Cheese! Proceeds from burger sales will benefit the ACE Foundation.

                                ACE Foundation

Help Me, Help You

When I took on session programming for the 2010 ACS Conference in Seattle, I pored over years of session evaluations, post-conference surveys, town hall meeting minutes, and annual member surveys -- all in the interest of making sure the conference delivered the content you wanted and needed.


Stepping up to the plate again to program the 2011 ACS Conference & Competition in Montreal, I'm delving right back into those evaluations, and I want to offer a few pointers on giving good feedback to the conference planning team - and by "good" I mean useful and actionable feedback.


First and foremost: Be Sweet

We are not asking you to sugar coat anything, or to avoid telling us what you think. We hope you will remember that if you have been disappointed, now is your opportunity to tell us how to do things better.What could we have done differently?  What would have made your experience more enjoyable? We sincerely want to know how to do better.


Second: Be Specific

We cannot stress this point enough. The more you tell us about exactly what worked and what didn't, the easier it is for us to know how to make you happier in the future.


For examples of statements from real conference evaluations, click here. As you complete your member survey in the coming weeks, and when you complete evaluations at the 2011 Conference in Montreal, I hope you will keep these pointers in mind. Following them will ensure a better, more productive experience for all of our members in the future.



Sasha Davies,


Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (#cheesesociety), LinkedIn, or our member networking site, CheeseWire. Get the latest updates from the cheese community, connect with fellow cheesemakers, retailers and enthusiasts, and tell us what's happening in your world.

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