Feb Masthead
In This Issue...
A Little Taste of Montréal
Webinar: Preparing a HACCP Plan
2011 ACS Scholarships
Keep on Truckin'!
The Dessert Course
SIAL Canada in Toronto
Letter from the President
Letter from the Executive Director
Montréal or Bust!
Judging & Competition News
Launch of American Cheese Week
Don't Miss Out: Renew Today!
2011 ACS Sponsorships
Stay Connected to ACS
A Little Taste of Montral
by Liz Campbell


Where can you visit a foreign city and rejoice in a place that blends the history and culture of Europe with the vitality of modern North America?


Where can you hear French being spoken in one of the largest French speaking cities in the world outside France (they speak English too!)?


Where can you enjoy superb cuisine at reasonable, North American prices?


Where can you do all this without leaving the American continent?


The answer is Montr�al!


An architectural feast with a blend of modern and classic, Montr�al was designated UNESCO City of Design in 2006...(read full story)


Mark Your Calendars for Our 2nd Free Webinar:

Preparing a HACCP Plan  


HACCP does not require a "Gesundheit" or "Bless you" -- it requires a plan! Are you prepared to identify your critical control points?   


Join presenters Ranee May and Marianne Smukowski as they walk you through the vital steps of preparing your company's HACCP plan. This session will provide you with tangible tools for identifying your potential hazards, and will explain how you can work to establish the steps you will take to ensure food safety in your cheesemaking facility.


Please join us for this second session in a series of three free online webinars, and see why our members are saying, "Thank you ACS for giving more value to our membership fees! I am very grateful for the opportunity to keep learning!"


To register, visit our website beginning on Friday, February 11.


Preparing a HACCP Plan  

Friday, February 25, 2011

11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT




Ranee May, Food Scientist and Manager, Falcon Dairy Food Plant at UW-River Falls


Marianne Smukowski, Dairy Safety Applications Coordinator, Center for Dairy Research at UW-Madison

Don't Miss Out! Apply for 2011 ACS Scholarships

Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 John Crompton Memorial Scholarship for Retailers!

Learn about the history and meaning of the John Crompton Memorial Scholarship from the Scholarship Committee, and download an application below: Applications for the following 2011 scholarships are also available:
To apply, download an application via the links above, and submit it no later than Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Individuals must be active ACS members to apply.

Keep on Truckin'!

ACS needs your help...to stay green and protect all of the great cheeses in our annual competition, ACS is seeking two refrigerated trucks that can be plugged in while parked. The trailer portion of the trucks will need to remain parked at the Palais des Congr�s (Montr�al convention center) from July 28 to August 7.

Trucks should meet these criteria: 
  • 40' to 52' long*
  • Electric (details needed)*
  • Roll-up Door
  • Flatbed (no grooves in floor)
  • Interior Lighting

*Starred items are required features. The remaining features are preferred, but not required.

If you have access to, or information about, trucks that meet any of these criteria, please contact Michelle Lee at [email protected] or 720.328.2788 x302. Thank you!

The Dessert Course

This Valentine's Day, feature artisan or specialty cheeses in a unique dessert for your loved one! 

Photo: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board


SIAL Canada in Toronto

May 11-13, 2011

SIAL Canada is North America's premier agri-food event. It is also a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about innovative ideas and breaking trends in the agri-food industry, or to get your product noticed by a broad, interested audience. Be sure to stop by the ACS booth on the tradeshow floor, where we'll be spreading the word about North American cheese!

At SIAL Canada, you will:  

*Develop new relationships among nearly 600 businesses from around the world. 

*Learn about local, regional, and national products from a variety of countries. 

*Keep up with the latest industry developments at the Trends & Innovations area where you'll find tomorrow's hottest products. 

*Browse new product lines organized by type: Organic, Kosher, Halal, Gluten Free, Fair Trade and Private Labels. 

*Expand your knowledge through in-depth educational sessions. 

*Participate in culinary workshops and demonstrations in The Cuisine where you'll learn the latest hands-on skills, techniques, and industry innovations. 

This just in! There is one last- minute booth space available for a cheesemaker or related vendor in SIAL's sold-out USA Pavilion within the sold-out show. The space won't last long: for more info, contact Eric Halsten at 704-365-0041 or  [email protected].

Register to attend SIAL here. 

Cheese in the News

FDA ramps up scrutiny of a new area: cheese: Washington Post, February 5 


Local cheese makers fear a raw deal: WQED Radio, February 4


The Details On Gov. Walker's Super Bowl Trip: NBC 15, February 3  


Raw milk cheesemakers fret over new rules: NY Times, January 29


Feds nab raw-milk cheese in food safety case: LA Times, January 29

Blessed are the Cheesemongers: Wisconsin State Journal, January 25

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Claims a Prize: Boston Globe, January 24

Bravo Farms Is Making Cheese Again: Fresno Bee, January 20

New Milestones for ACS

Christine HyattHappy February to all! I've been enjoying kidding updates from farms near and far, and wintry weather updates from around the nation. I hope the frosty days of winter will soon break into spring wherever you are.


The ACS board met for its January meeting just after the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. This meeting traditionally focuses on the budget, conference updates, and specific plans to achieve organizational annual goals. There are some exciting milestones to report from the meeting:

  • Our Montr�al conference and competition planning is on track, and is looking more exciting each week. Final plans are in place to ensure seamless delivery of your cheeses across the border. Educational sessions will form a compelling and informative program. Registration opens May 4 -- reserve your space by June 1 to lock in special early bird rates!
  • I am happy to report that based on the incredible work done by so many over the course of 6 years, the Cheese Education Certification project now has the green light to move forward into development for delivery in 2012 or 2013. Although ACS is not able to fund costs associated with exam development (estimated at $85,000), we will provide staff resources to administer and support the exam. A sponsorship team is being assembled to seek donors, sponsors, and underwriters to advance this important initiative. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact Rebecca Sherman at the ACS office.
  • Based on member feedback, our inaugural American Cheese Week will be held October 1 - 9, 2011. This first-ever nationwide celebration of North American cheeses is designed to shine a spotlight on the cheese community in your region. How will you celebrate?  
  • Our focus on education in 2011 has already yielded some exceptional results. On Monday, February 7, the first online Cheesemaker Winter Workshop was held with over 50 attendees and more than 60 questions answered. Dr. D.J. D'Amico from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese presented a 90-minute session on "Risk Reduction in Cheesemaking Facilities." The session received rave reviews, and you can watch the recorded session on our website next week. Don't miss the next workshop. "Preparing a HACCP Plan," on February 25 at noon EST.
  • Cheesemakers, please be on the lookout for communications from ACS Research Intern Adam Dworetsky. Adam, a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in Economics Management, is embarking on the most comprehensive survey ever conducted to gauge the breadth and depth of the North American artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheesemaking community. Please take a few moments to respond to Adam when he contacts you. ACS has received an increasing number of calls from national media regarding the current regulatory climate, and possible changes on the horizon. As we are considered the go-to source for promoting and supporting North American cheese, your assistance with our survey will help us play this role even better.

Thanks for all that you do to promote and support North American cheese!


Christine Hyatt

ACS President


ACS: A Wealth of Knowledge & A Great Value

cheese conference


I hope you'll consider the great value of ACS membership and our Annual Conference as you are renewing your dues and planning your trip to Montral this summer. Let's say that instead of joining us in Montr�al, you had decided to attend the recent World Economic Forum in Davos....  First, you'd have to be invited to become a member by a current member of the Forum. ACS has no such pretentions -- all cheese lovers are welcome and encouraged to be a part of our community! The most basic level of membership in the Forum, which will garner you one invitation to Davos, is $52,000. ACS gives you a wealth of benefits at the basic $190 Individual Member rate: resources on our website, networking opportunities, news and information on cheese goings-on, free webinars, a chance to enter our prestigious competition, discount programs, scholarship opportunities, and more. Not to mention the cach� of being an ACS member.


But back to Davos... Next, add in the registration fee for the event -- $19,000 just to get in the door. If you want to escape the masses and hob-knob with the people with whom one must hob-knob, break out your check book and become an "Industry Associate" ($137,000). Want to bring a colleague? You'll need to upgrade to "Industry Partner" ($263,000). Suppose you'd like to bring five people to the event. ACS offers Corporate Members the opportunity to designate five employees to receive benefits, and to register an unlimited number of employees for our Annual Conference. Well, there's none of that at the World Economic Forum. To bring five colleagues, you'll need to become a "Strategic Partner" of the Forum ($527,000) plus pay the $19,000 registration fee for each person (price tag: $622,000). And then there are the travel costs ($11,000 for a first class flight to Zurich, $70,000 for a private flight, $3,400 for that helicopter from Zurich to Davos)...and the chalet rental ($14,000 for a week) and the parties and meals (Google's party will run about $250,000). You can calculate the full damage by reading this New York Times piece. 


Of course, in Montral, I can't promise you'll bump into George Soros at the Westin hotel bar, or that Dmitry Medvedev will present the keynote, or even that Snooki will serve drinks at the Opening Reception. But you might run into David Gremmels sipping a negroni at the bar, rub shoulders with Laura Werlin at a tasting session, or sample goat cheese with Conference Co-Chair John Eggena. So, you know up front what you're getting into. What I can promise is an event in a great city, with amazing programming, fun events, all the cheese you can eat, and great value for your investment...which I promise will be well under $622,000.


Tongue-in-cheek comparisons aside, ACS genuinely appreciates our members' commitment to the cheese community. Read on for ways we are working to help make your conference experience in Montr�al both amazing and affordable


Nora Weiser

Executive Director   


Montral or Bust!


ACS wants you to get to Montr�al for this year's amazing, unique, first-ever Canadian-hosted Annual Conference. Read on for cost-saving discounts and ideas we've developed to help our members take advantage of the great opportunities you'll only find at the ACS Annual Conference:

  • Discounted hotel rate of $179/night at the Westin Montr�al, our headquarters hotel. PLUS, when you check in at the Westin, you'll receive a VIP Discount booklet with great deals on area restaurants, retailers, and attractions.  
  • Save up to 12% on airfare to Montr�al when you book through aircanada.com and use code CQTFZTV1.  
  • Share-a-Room Option: Interested in finding a roommate for Montr�al? Send your name, gender, city/state, and if you are a smoker or non-smoker, early bird or night owl, to Stephanie Minior at [email protected]. We'll compile a list of other members looking to share a room. 
  • If you are "a" cheesemonger, could you be "the" cheesemonger? Apply to serve as ACS's Official Conference Cheesemonger. You'll receive airfare, seven nights hotel stay, a personalized chef's jacket, and free registration to our 2012 conference (you'll be too busy working with cheese to attend sessions in Montr�al!). 
Judging & Competition News


Our newly elected Judging & Competition Vice Chair, Todd Druhot, and I are charged with writing our committee's update for this month's edition of CheeseBytes. Todd has generously allowed me to hijack this space for a "do over" from the Seattle Conference Business Lunch.


If you weren't there -- good! If you were, then you saw me receive the 2010 ACS Lifetime Achievement Award with an emotional speech prepared months in advance that dissolved into sputtering fragments. Not the John Greeley you see at the Awards Ceremony each year with the ever glib and urbane David Grotenstein.


I am grateful for the honor but also remiss in recognizing past ACS members who helped the Judging & Competition Committee and me get to this wonderful place in time. Please offer a silent applause for my ACS friends who also have achievements worth sobbing over: read the full list here


Just reading this list again moves me to... another Jim Boelher moment?


Next month from the Judging & Competition Committee -- Emmental -- they have eyes, for crying out loud!




John Greeley

ACS Competition Committee


ACS Launches American Cheese Week  


ACS proudly announces the launch of American Cheese Week, October 1 - 9, 2011. This inaugural event is a collective, simultaneous celebration of North American cheese designed to raise awareness of our unique cheese culture and promote the people who make, market and savor it.


This celebration will consist of grass-roots events organized and produced by ACS members and cheese enthusiasts in their own local communities. 


Leading up to American Cheese Week, ACS will coordinate a drumbeat of cheese-positive educational stories, interviews, and videos designed to inform and engage cheese enthusiasts and general consumers, increasing awareness of who we are and what we do.


ACS will support your American Cheese Week events by providing event templates and checklists, as well as branding, marketing and PR support for member-produced events. Together with directors of successful regional cheese events, we will create detailed, scalable templates for "Meet the Cheesemaker," "Farmers Market," "Cheese Trail" and "Dine Around" style events. These events generated the most interest on our most recent member survey. Over the next few months, we will ramp up preparations and provide a checklist of items to assist local event hosts and sponsors in their planning. 


An American Cheese Week logo and other marketing collateral are in development, and the new ACS website launching this spring will provide a platform to promote regional and local events -- elevating interest and engagement locally, regionally and nationally. 


In our recent member survey, 60 people signed on to host and coordinate local and regional events. That's a great start, and there's room for more! Our goal is to have events in 50 cities in the first year. With your help, we'll get there!


Any good event has a beneficiary -- a cause bigger than itself that is enhanced by collective efforts. We are hopeful that those planning and enjoying American Cheese Week events and promotions will consider setting aside a portion of proceeds to benefit the American Cheese Education Foundation, in support of Certification and other educational initiatives. Our goal is to raise $25,000 in this first year.


Make sure you're a fan of ACS on Facebook. In the next few weeks, we will be engaging fans to create "tag lines" for promotional materials. Get your thinking caps on to celebrate American Cheese Week!   


How can you get involved? There are many ways! We will share details in CheeseBytes and on our website in the coming months. In the meantime, those interested in participating as a Regional or Local Coordinator, Volunteer, or Sponsor, should contact Rebecca Sherman for more information.


Stay tuned for more news on American Cheese Week! 


Don't Miss Out: Renew Today!

You've got your dues invoice in hand -- so make sure to mail, fax, or phone in your membership renewal today. You won't want to miss anything ACS has planned for 2011:

  • On-line education to keep you up-to-date on best practices, trends, and important industry issues.
  • A new website with more member resources, better functionality, and exciting features than ever before.
  • Our Annual Conference & Competition, August 3 - 6, 2011 in Montr�al
  • Exclusive member discounts on business services like FedEx shipping and merchant services.
  • The launch of American Cheese Week: October 1 - 9, 2011
  • A chance to have your products featured at related industry events like SAVOR, Great American Beer Festival, and the National Wine Experience.
  • Our informative monthly CheeseBytes e-newsletter.
  • ...and much, much more!
Please renew your membership by mailing or faxing your completed invoice to the ACS office. If you have questions about your renewal invoice, or to renew via phone, please contact Stephanie Minior at 720-328-2788 x300.

Get Noticed with an ACS Sponsorship!

Align your brand with the best in the industry as a 2011 ACS sponsor! Our sponsors build powerful, long-lasting relationships with our members, as well as with the wider public through ACS media placements and print materials. We are extremely grateful for the support of our 2010 sponsors, and we look forward to renewing those relationships -- and building many new ones -- in 2011!

In 2011, consider sponsoring one of these key ACS events:

  • 2011 Conference & Competition: This year marks ACS's first conference in Canada, and it affords exciting new opportunities for sponsors. Sponsors will reach the audiences they always count on, but they will also have the chance to explore new opportunities with a receptive and excited cheese community in Canada. 
  • Winter Workshops for Cheesemakers: ACS is offering a series of online educational workshops for cheesemakers focused on important technical issues such as risk reduction, product liability, and the development of HACCP plans. 
  • American Cheese Week: Launching in October of 2011, sponsors can get noticed by supporting this week of events and educational outreach in every region of the country. Help ACS increase visibility for the North American cheese community! 
To learn more about these sponsorship opportunities and benefits, or if you would like to learn how you can support our Certification initiative, please contact Rebecca Sherman at 720-328-2788 ext. 301 or [email protected].

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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