March 2011 Masthead
In This Issue...
Mark Your Calendar
Member Profile: Fritz Kaiser
Volunteer in Montréal
Calling All Skilled Cheesemongers!
Made from Scratch
SIAL Canada 2011
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Letter from the President
Letter from the Executive Director
Judging & Competition News
Board of Directors Nominations
2011 ACS Sponsorships
Don't Miss Out: Renew Today!
Stay Connected to ACS

Mark Your Calendar 

In order to enjoy the best rates on competition entries and conference registration in Montr�al, mark your calendar with these important dates!

April 4: Entries in our Annual Judging & Competition will be accepted beginning on this date.

May 4: Registration for the conference opens at our "Early Bird" rate of $455. This rate is available through June 1.

May 27: This is the very last date for competition entries to be accepted. Entries submitted between May 20-27 will be charged a late fee.

June 2: Regular conference registration rates of $575 begin on this day. Late registration rates of $
695 will begin on June 24.

July 13: This is the very last day for conference pre-registration. Any additional registrations will only be accepted on-site in Montr�al.

August 3-6: Our 28th Annual Conference & Competition will be held in Montr�al,


Member Profile: Fritz Kaiser
by Liz Campbell

Fritz Cheese"I grew up in Switzerland, so cheese is in my blood," laughs Fritz Kaiser.


One of six boys and one girl in a dairy farming family, Fritz has always had a love affair with food and even considered a career as a chef. Instead, he entered a four year apprenticeship in Switzerland learning about dairy production and cheesemaking. One whole year was devoted to cheesemaking and included time spent in the laboratory understanding the biochemistry of the process.


By the time it was over, his family had emigrated to Canada and Fritz came over to join them. They had bought a large dairy farm in Noyan, situated in the rich farmland of the Richelieu Valley of Quebec and he joined them here. But Fritz noticed a "large hole in the specialty cheese market in Canada" and saw an opportunity to make his own mark. In 1981, the pioneering cheesemaker began making raclette and tilsit... (read more


We Need Your Support: Volunteer in Montr�al!

Each year, the ACS Annual Conference & Competition relies on countless volunteers who provide their time and talents to ensure that the competition, educational sessions, and special events -- including the gala Festival of Cheese -- run smoothly.

ACS is currently seeking volunteers to support the 2011 Conference & Competition in Montr�al. Volunteers are needed from July 28, when the Judging & Competition begins, through August 6.

If you love cheese, don't miss this opportunity to work closely with leaders in the industry! All volunteers receive an ACS 2011 t-shirt, and a complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on Saturday, August 6.

Interested in volunteering? Contact Stephanie Minior for more details. We hope to see you in Montr�al!

Calling all Skilled Cheesemongers!

One of the most important volunteer roles at the ACS Conference & Competition is that of the on-site cheesemonger -- the point person who oversees and manages the receipt, movement, storage, and preparation of the thousands of cheeses that play a starring role in ACS conference events.


Due to the importance of this volunteer role, ACS has launched a

new program recognizing this prestigious position as the

Official ACS Conference Cheesemonger.

If you are an experienced cheesemonger who would like to apply your skills to the broadest array of North American cheeses that you'll ever encounter, consider applying for this role!

To apply, complete an application and submit it to Michelle Lee no later than March 31, 2011.  



Made from Scratch




















ACS recently received a preview copy of Janet Hurst's Homemade Cheese: Recipes for 50 Cheeses from Artisan Cheesemakers. The book contains recipes for cheese and cultured dairy products that you can make from scratch at home. We've selected two recipes -- provided by ACS members -- to share with you. Bon app�tit!  


Yogurt Recipe  from Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery 

Cottage Cheese Recipe 
from Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery

SIAL Canada 2011

SIAL Canada 2011, Canada's leading food and beverage trade show, comes to Toronto for the first time from May 11-13, 2011 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.


SIAL Canada 2011 will offer over 700 exhibitors from 10 Canadian provinces and 40 countries, plus a busy program of conferences and special events... all in a setting exclusively designed for food retail and foodservice professionals. 


Registration is open! ACS members can register online for your visitor badge today and save $20!


To register, visit ACS will have a presence at SIAL Canada 2011, and we would love to see you there! 


For more details, contact Rebecca Long or 866-381-0884.

ACS Partners with The Brewer's Association for SAVOR 2011 in D.C.

This June 3-4, ACS will participate in SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, presented by The Brewer's Association in Washington, D.C. This annual event reaches 4,000 attendees with chef-prepared cuisine paired with 144 craft beers from 72 breweries.

ACS will sample cheeses and accompanying products from our members at SAVOR, and we would love to showcase your products!

If you would like ACS to sample your products at SAVOR, please contact Rebecca Sherman to learn more.

Cheese in the News

Chilton Cheesemaker Named US Champion: Green Bay Press Gazette, March 11 


US Championship Cheese Contest Held Held at Lambeau Field Atrium: Green Bay Press Gazette, March 8


Making a Cheese Statement: Press Democrat, March 6

Feds are Mulling Changing Raw Milk Cheese Rules: Associated Press, March 3

 Raw Milk Debate Simmers as States, FDA Mull Rules: Reuters, February 23

Saputo Buys US Big Cheese: Montr�al Gazette, February 18

Budding California Cheese Industry Gets Grilled by the FDA: NPR, February 15

Spring is in the Air

Christine Hyatt

Spring is in the air for much of the country and there's a lot 'blooming' at ACS, as well! Many of you have been following the ongoing media attention focused on possible regulatory changes on the horizon. 


In late February, John Sheehan, Director of the FDA's Division of Plant & Dairy Food Safety, reached out to ACS and invited us to sit down with FDA representatives to discuss concerns of ACS members, and the FDA's pending risk assessment on raw milk cheese. The meeting, held on Tuesday, March 8th, was cordial, productive and presented an opportunity for ongoing dialogue. For a complete recap, please read our Important Member Update


ACS is pleased and proud to be serving in this leadership role on behalf of our membership, and will provide timely updates and an opportunity for member comment in the coming weeks and months. 


While this meeting represented our most important priority in the last few weeks, our staff and committees are also moving ahead on a number of exciting projects.


Major kudos go out to the presenters and organizers of a very successful Winter Workshops for Cheesemakers series. The in-depth sessions on "Risk Reduction in Cheesemaking Facilities" with Dr. DJ D'Amico, "Preparing a HACCP Plan" with Ranee May and Marianne Smukowski, and "Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Product Liability" with Ken Odza, were well-received by 134 participants. Recorded versions of each session are available to members on the ACS website, to be viewed at your convenience. 


Our newly designed and revamped website is nearing completion and will launch in early April. I'm sure you will be as excited at the functionality and updated design as I am, and will be patient as more information is continually added.  


As the leader in promoting and supporting American Cheese, ACS is actively engaged in seeking the most up to date information about our industry. ACS intern Adam Dworetsky has identified 920 farmstead, artisan and specialty cheesemakers in the U.S. and Canada. Cheesemakers, please be on the lookout for a survey coming your way in the next week. Completing it will help ACS generate the most complete industry statistics ever compiled.


Plans for Montr�al continue to evolve. We had a record number of scholarship applicants this year: 45 applications will be reviewed by our Scholarship Committees, and applicants will hear their results by Friday, April 8. Judging & Competition entries will open to our members on Monday, April 4 (be sure to enter early for the lowest entry fee). Conference registration begins on May 4.


I hope to see all of you at "Cheese and Fromage:Common Cultures" from August 3-6 in Montr�al.


This is your association,  


Christine Hyatt

ACS President


ACS: Listening to and Working for Members
FDA Visit
ACS met with FDA staff at CFSAN in College Park, MD. Left to right: Dr. Cathy Donnelly, VT Institute of Artisan Cheese; John Sheehan, FDA, CFSAN, Division of Plant & Dairy Food Safety; Nora Weiser, ACS Executive Director; Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm; David Gremmels, Rogue Creamery; Christine Hyatt, ACS President.

























In our 2010 Member Survey, you told ACS that the most important things ACS could offer to its members are:

  • Outreach to help educate local inspectors
  • Support for cheesemakers' rights to produce raw milk cheese
  • Public awareness about artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses

ACS listened, and we are actively working towards these goals. ACS sat down earlier this week with a team from the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to be briefed on the purpose and nature of the FDA's ongoing compliance endeavors, and the process and schedule for the new Risk Profile for raw milk cheese. The Risk Profile is currently under peer review and will be published in draft form for public comment by the end of this calendar year. The FDA is currently not contemplating changing any rule relative to cheese aging, and at the moment is focused on creating a complete, scientifically-based assessment. For more information, please read our Important Member Update

ACS is also working on behalf of our members to increase public awareness through media outreach -- providing experts available for comment, producing position statements (see our Statement on the Importance of Artisan, Farmstead, and Specialty Cheese, and through the launch of the first annual American Cheese Week, which will be held from October 1-9, 2011.


We're also listening to your other requests, to be sure that your membership gives you undisputed value. We are collecting data and conducting research to have factual information on key issues, and we are developing programs and services to grow and professionalize the industry (like our Body of Knowledge, new marketing vehicles for members, special events and outreach, our free online workshop series, and our Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals).


Thank you for sharing your feedback and goals so that we can better serve ACS members now and into the future.   




Nora Weiser

Executive Director   



See How Easy Entering Can Be...


ACS is excited to give our members international exposure in Montr�al! To do so, our Judging & Competition Committee has worked hard to make sure that your cheeses and dairy products will arrive safely in Montr�al with minimal impact to you, or to our usual entry process. Please note that competition entry will open on Monday, April 4.


Working closely with the Qu�bec Department of Agriculture to ensure that shipping will be as seamless as possible, ACS will be consolidating all U.S. cheeses in New York state, and will be transporting them to Montr�al in our own trucks. For that reason, and in order to ensure that no time is lost in this border crossing, cheesemakers will need to ship their entries for arrival on ONE DAY this year, rather than over two days as in years past. We will ask everyone to ship with the same carrier, UPS, as they will be handling the receipt of cheeses and cross-country consolidation of all entries at one of their dedicated facilities.  


Aside from a few changes, the entry process will be similar to previous years.


Here's how the entry process will work:  

  • COMPLETE THE SAME FORM AS LAST YEAR, WITH ONE ADDITION. ACS members will fill out the same entry form as in years past. If you have multiple make locations, you will be required to fill out a separate entry form for each location. Forms must be filled out completely and must include a copy of your dairy plant permit or most recent health inspection report. (Based on regulatory information and best practices, ACS may require additional information at time of entry. More information on this will be provided in your entry packets.)
  • NO ADDITIONAL CUSTOMS FORMS OR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES WILL BE REQUIRED. The Judging & Competition Committee is working with Border Officials to consolidate all entries as one shipment, so cheesemakers won't have to worry about customs forms or international shipping charges.
  • STANDARD $55 ENTRY FEE FOR ON-TIME ENTRIES. Cheesemakers will be able to enter online via the ACS web site, email, fax, or mail. ACS will accept payment via check, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. The late entry fee will be $80 per entry, for entries received between May 21 and May 27. No entries are accepted after May 27.  
  • FILL OUT & INCLUDE YOUR PACKING SLIP WITH YOUR SHIPMENT. Your packing slip plays an expanded role this year in providing accessible information about your shipment for Canadian officials. In addition, ACS will include space for you to include the "Date of Production" for each cheese/dairy product entry. This information will be required. Without it, your product will not be allowed into the 2011 Festival of Cheese.
  • ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SHIPPED VIA UPS NEXT DAY AIR. Cheesemakers will be required to ship their product through UPS Next Day Air to our designated competition shipping address. This will allow ACS to effectively track all entries, and will allow for a more seamless consolidation in Plattsburgh, NY. (If you don't already have an account set up with UPS, we suggest that you begin the process now at
  • SHIP PRODUCT OVERNIGHT ON JULY 27 FOR CONSOLIDATION IN PLATTSBURGH. Cheesemakers will be asked to ship their product overnight on Wednesday, July 27 for delivery on Thursday, July 28. Although you'll be shipping overnight, it is recommended that you package your cheese as you would for 48 hours of transit. Entrants will be provided with details about how to package cheese to ensure proper temperatures are maintained during transport.
  • ENTRIES ARRIVE IN MONTREAL ON JULY 28 VIA CONSOLIDATED SHIPPING. All competition entries that arrive in Plattsburgh, NY will be transported that same day to Montr�al, and will then undergo our normal receiving process. The Judging & Competition Committee will be on-site in Montr�al from the moment the competition trucks arrive, to ensure timely processing of your entries.

The ACS team is excited about this opportunity to showcase your products on an international level. We hope that you are, too! As you can see, the process for our cheesemakers in Montr�al is similar to the process in any other year: you make great cheeses or cultured dairy products, ship your products, and await the results of our world-renowned, and truly North American, Judging & Competition. We look forward to seeing you and your products in Montr�al!    

AFI Large Logo 



David Grotenstein

Judging & Competition Chair


Michelle Lee

ACS Programs & Operations Director  



The 2011 Judging & Competition is

sponsored by Atlanta Foods International  


Board of Directors Nominations: ACS Needs You!


The ACS Board of Directors needs you! This is your chance to help lead the association dedicated to furthering the North American cheese industry.  


ACS is currently seeking members to fill important leadership positions on its Board. All directors selected will serve on the Board for one 3-year term with the potential to be re-elected to a second 3-year term. Directors-at-large will be voted into office in the next election.


There are many benefits to serving as a volunteer leader, including:

  • Playing a significant role in advancing your profession;
  • Having an opportunity to enhance the value of ACS for the cheese community;
  • Accessing up-to-date information about the challenges facing the industry;
  • Being at the forefront of the exciting changes going on at ACS: new initiatives, campaigns, partnerships, alliances, products, services, and directions.
  • Exchanging ideas and perspectives with other volunteer leaders.

ACS values and seeks diverse leadership as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, and professional level. It seeks leaders from all types and sizes of eligible organizations.  


The ACS Nominating Committee has identified a number of desired attributes that will be part of the selection process for nominees. Nominees should possess:

  • Demonstrated leadership commitment and involvement with ACS and the cheese community. Examples include, but are not limited to: service on an ACS committees, participation in ACS events, serving in volunteer roles at conference, local involvement in the your professional community.
  • Recognized leadership in the cheese community. Examples include but are not limited to: serving as chair or president of a guild or related group; serving on ACS committees; or working with philanthropic organizations.
  • Relevant expertise in the disciplines of organizational management. Examples include but are not limited to: branding, media relations, finance, strategic alliances, and non-profit structure.
  • Commitment to participate in 11 board meetings a year -- 8 monthly calls and 3 required in-person meetings: one at conference (August), a two-day fall retreat at following year's host city (November), one in conjunction with the Winter Fancy Food Show (January).
  • Positive leadership attributes, emotional intelligence, the ability to work collaboratively and engage in appropriate debate and discussion when needed, discretion, and visionary and strategic drive.
  • Demonstrated ability with new and innovative programs within your sphere of influence. Examples include but are not limited to incorporating strategy, leadership, future focus, risk taking, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

We want to hear from you. If you are interested in serving, or would like to recommend a nominee, contact [email protected] by April 30, 2011.


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. Download our 2011 Sponsorship Brochure
  • Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals: ACS is developing a Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals, which will offer an opportunity for food industry professionals who procure, care for, sell, or serve cheese to earn the distinguished designation of Certified Cheese Professional -- the highest credential available to cheese professionals in North America. ACS is seeking partners to support the creation and launch of this exam. Learn more in our Certification Exam Sponsorship Brochure
  • 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].

Don't Miss Out: Renew Today!

If you haven't sent in your membership renewal, be sure to mail, fax, or phone it in 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.

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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