IMPORTANT DEADLINE: The last day to register for the ACS Conference in Raleigh at the "Regular" member rate of $595 is June 27. Starting on June 28, the registration rate will increase to $695 for ACS members. If you haven't already registered to attend the conference, be sure to check out our full schedule of events and register today!
NEW! Exclusive Online Discount for ACS Members
Each month, ACS members can find special offers from partner retailers in this column. If you love cheese, you won't want to miss these deals! We're pleased to include the first offer in this series, below, from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine.
Save 10% on your purchases at
ACS members can save 10% on purchases on the Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine website! Use Coupon Code ACS2012 to redeem this offer.
Offer expires 8/31/12. Excludes taxes, shipping, and gift certificates.
Your Vote is Your Voice
The ACS Board of Directors steers the course of the organization by volunteering their time in support of education, events, industry advancement, and new initiatives.
This year, the board will welcome two new members from a slate of seven talented candidates:
If you're an ACS voting member,* don't forget to vote for your top two candidates via the link emailed to you on June 13. Remember, your vote is your voice for the future of ACS!
*Each level of professional ACS membership (Corporate, Small Business, or Individual) is entitled to one vote for each open position.
Show Your Counter Culture at the Festival of Cheese & Win a Great Prize!
This summer, ACS is launching its Counter Culture Challenge! Consider it "Top Cheese" for anyone who has what it takes to create amazing, beautiful, delectable cheese displays at the ACS Festival of Cheese on August 4, 2012 in Raleigh, NC.
Think you've got what it takes to wow the judges? Learn more and sign your team up to compete! You could win a 2013 conference registration or a seat to take the 2013 CCP™ Exam!
ACS Needs You! Volunteer Your Time in Raleigh
If you love cheese, or simply enjoy lending a hand, we hope you'll consider spending a few hours volunteering in Raleigh!
Volunteers receive an ACS t-shirt and a complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on August 4 as a token of our appreciation.
Interested in lending a hand? Create a profile on our volunteer site and sign up for the assignment that's right for you!
Pairings worth SAVORing
ACS sampled our members' cheeses at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience on June 8-9. Attendees also enjoyed beer and food pairings, including these great match-ups:
-Lamb Meatballs with Ricotta Salata paired with a Belgian-style beer such as Deschutes Brewery's Stoic
-Woodruffed Back Wrapped Dates with fromage blanc paired with a Berlinerweisse such as Full Sail Brewing Co's Chris' Summer Delight Berlinerweisse
-Brown Sugar Cheesecake: paired with a barley wine such as Coronado Brewing Co's Barrel Aged Barley Wine
Download these recipes and try your own pairings at home!
Cheese in the News
Taste Test: Artisanal Cheddar
, Cook's Illustrated
, July 2012Raw Milk Cheese: More Popular, Greater Scrutiny
, Supermarket News
, June 4Grant will help local dairy farmers make more cheese
, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
, June 3US raw milk cheese manufacturing safety regulations 'appear adequate
, May 28 12 CA Cheeses that Everyone Should Know
, May 21
|Advancing the Cause of Great Cheese
With summer heating up to a fever pitch, ACS staff and volunteers continue to put the finishing touches on what promises to be an outstanding "Cheese Rally in Raleigh." The conference will to bring together our community for learning, celebration, and great cheese.
Cheesemakers, you have outdone yourselves yet again! This year's Judging & Competition is the largest in ACS history, topping out at over 1,700 cheeses, with an extra strong showing by our southern producers.
Do you want to help display all of those gorgeous cheeses at the Festival of Cheese? Show us your display chops as your team takes on a category of cheese and makes it shine in our first Counter Culture Challenge. Who will reign supreme at this fun test of cheese skills? Don't miss the final results on August 4!
Despite our conference-centric focus, we have not lost sight of important year-round initiatives. Some great progress has been made in our work to draft a Cheesemaker Best Practices document. The ACS Regulatory & Academic Committee, chaired by Kate Arding, has been forging alliances across the Atlantic with the Specialist Cheesemakers Association in the UK, using their code of best practices as a springboard for a North American version. Committee members came together at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, DC to advance the project. A similar guide for retailer best practices is also in the works. Be sure to look for updates in Raleigh.
If you have not already voted for two nominees to join the ACS Board of Directors, please do so by July 11. Our volunteer board works diligently to advance ACS's mission of supporting and promoting American cheese, and your vote will guide the future direction of this organization.
Thanks for all that you do to advance the cause of great cheese. See you in Raleigh!
Peace, Love & Cheese,
| Are You Up to the Challenge?
Excitement is building for the ACS Conference & Competition in Raleigh, with a great schedule of educational programs, tours, and events. This year, we'll launch the first ever Counter Culture Challenge. This is a chance for anyone with great cheese preparation and display skills to showcase their talents. Competitors will bring their vision for displaying competition cheeses to life at the Festival of Cheese on Saturday, August 4. Sign up to compete in this fun, lively, and challenging event if you think you've got what it takes to tackle the abundance of cheese that is the Festival of Cheese. You could win a 2013 conference registration or a seat to take the 2013 CCP™ Exam -- and competitors who register for the full 2012 conference will receive a $100 rebate on their conference registration!
Cheesemakers will also have a special chance to shine at Meet the Cheesemaker in Raleigh. This is a favorite annual event for many conference attendees, as it allows one-to-one personal contact between cheesemakers and buyers. If you haven't done so already, there's still time to sign up to showcase your cheeses in front of a targeted audience of buyers. But, don't delay. The deadline to reserve your table at the lowest rate is Wednesday, June 27.
We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh!
ACS Executive Director
Market Your Cheese to Leading Buyers at ACS's Annual Meet the Cheesemaker Event
The deadline to register for ACS's Meet the Cheesemaker event is fast approaching!
If you have not booked a table to showcase your cheeses to a targeted audience of cheese buyers, distributors, and retailers in Raleigh on August 2, be sure to do so by June 27 for the lowest registration rate of $185. Late registration ($225) will only be available from June 28 through July 6.
|Meet the Cheesemaker is sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board.
Participants in Meet the Cheesemaker can showcase up to seven different products. ACS provides each cheesemaker with a draped table, napkins, trays, gloves, toothpicks, bread or crackers, a knife, and a cutting board.
To learn more about Meet the Cheesemaker, click here or contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788. Don't miss this unique marketing opportunity for your business!
An Interview with Temple Grandin (Part 2)
ACS is proud to welcome Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned author and advocate for humane livestock handling, as our 2012 Conference Keynote Speaker. Dr. Grandin will speak to conference attendees on Thursday, August 1 at 8:15 AM, and she will sign copies of her books (available for sale) after her talk.
In anticipation of this keynote, we asked Dr. Grandin about her work -- particularly as it relates to the dairy industry. We are pleased to share part two of this interview, below.
Q: You've been described as being able to "think like the animals" and understand how changes in their environment can lead to stress. For animals going to slaughter, this means something different than for animals going to the milking parlor. What similarities and differences do you see?
A: You want animals to go into the milking parlor voluntarily. There should be no handling stress if you are doing things right.
Q: Consumers are more and more concerned about food sources and animal treatment. How do you think such demands from consumers can ultimately make a difference in how farm animals are treated? Is it a matter of reaching the point where the economics start to make sense for producers?
A: The biggest problem in the dairy industry is letting cows get in very bad condition before they are sold. Some excellent dairies do a great job of caring for them, but there are some that just let them age into very bad bodily condition. Part of the problem with certain producers is that they are blind to the fact that they have a problem -- I call it "Bad becoming Normal." You get so used to seeing lame dairy cattle that you don't even notice it. Another thing the dairy industry has a hard time getting through its head is that some of their money comes through meat from bull calves; they are way behind the beef industry in their treatment of meat cattle. Whether they like it or not, they do produce beef. They need to begin getting their head around the fact that they are also meat producers.
|Temple Grandin's keynote speech is sponsored by Whole Foods Market.
Q: Do you have any favorite cheeses?
A: I love brie and blue cheese. With blue cheese, a little goes a long way for me.
A Record-Breaking Year
We have come a long way since the first ACS Judging & Competition at the 3rd Annual ACS Conference in 1985. In that year, 30 cheesemakers entered a total of 89 cheeses. This year, all of the entries are in for the 2012 Judging & Competition, and we have seen another record number of entries. Over 1,700 cheeses from more than 250 different companies were entered into this year's competition. We will have 17 judging teams in Raleigh, and each team will judge approximately 100 cheeses!
Now, the task at hand for the Judging & Competition Committee is to review all of the entries and make sure they are entered into the right categories. This is why we request that information such as milk type and added flavors are included when you submit your online entries; we use these details to review your entries.
This was the first year for our new online entry system, and the feedback we've received from our members has been positive. If you have any suggestions or ideas for next year, we would love to hear them in order to fine-tune the entry system. Please feel free to contact Michelle Lee at the ACS office with your feedback.
|The 2012 ACS Judging & Competition is sponsored by Atlanta Foods International.
The Judging & Competition Committee would like to thank the cheesemakers who submitted entries into this year's Judging & Competition. Your participation helped break our previous record of 1,676 entries! You demonstrate that creativity and enthusiasm for making great cheese continues to thrive in our industry.
Raleigh is shaping up to be a wonderful conference. We look forward to seeing and celebrating what you have created for 2012!
ACS Judging & Competition Chair
There's Still Time to Show Your Support for Cheese!
The ACS Conference & Competition couldn't take place without the support of sponsors who help ACS provide high-quality educational programming, networking opportunities, special events, and our renowned Judging & Competition each year.
Sponsors gain access to the most respected cheese professionals, receive recognition in print and electronic materials, and enjoy additional benefits and visibility at the conference and throughout the year.
Every gift, (no matter the amount) makes an impact, even at this stage in our conference planning. There are many ways to sponsor the Conference & Competition. Find the opportunity that's right for you in our Sponsorship Brochure, or contact Rebecca Sherman Orozco to create a customized sponsorship package.
Show your support for ACS and the North American cheese community by finding a sponsorship level that's right for you!
|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.