Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
2013 J&C Opens April 1
Rethink the Three Rs
Cheese Loves Chocolate
Special Biogas Webinar Offer
Join the New ACS Member Discount Program
Apply for a 2013 Scholarship
Member Milestones
Cheese in the News
Leadership at 30
My Cheesy Valentine
News from the Member Services Desk
ACS Releases Industry Data
Watch "Surviving a Recall"
CCP Exam is Filling Quickly
Member Profile
Save the Dates! ACS 2013

Save the Date! ACS Judging & Competition Opens April 1, 2013

The 2013 ACS Judging & Competition opens April 1 via ACS's online entry system. This year's competition is looking to be bigger and better than ever, as it coincides with ACS's 30th anniversary conference in Madison, Wisconsin!


Look for more details in the March issue of CheeseBytes.   



AFI Large Logo The 2013 ACS Judging & Competition is sponsored by Atlanta Foods International. 


Rethink the Three Rs: Rest + Relaxation = Reward 


In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Tony Schwartz, author and chief executive officer of The Energy Project, makes the case that we can increase our energy and productivity by getting more sleep, taking vacations, and working in shorter intervals. He suggests that working in

sessions of no more than 90 minutes, with breaks in between, is "a prescription for maximizing productivity." 


While this balance of work and rest can be difficult to achieve, Schwartz believes it's possible with practice. "By managing energy more skillfully, it's possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably." Is this a practice you can apply to your job? Read more here.


  Cheese Loves Chocolate 
Photo: Vosges Haut Chocolat
We can't think of a more fitting way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with cheese and chocolate. While it may sound a bit unorthodox, cheese and chocolate combinations are growing in popularity--and the sites below can help you get started with pairing tips and ideas. Or, let someone else do all the work and treat yourself to a cheese and chocolate gift box like those offered by Vosgues Haut Chocolat and St. James Cheese Company!

Some cheese and chocolate pairing tips and ideas:

Special Member Offer: Attend Feb 26 Biogas Webinar at No Charge
ACS members are invited to register for a webinar hosted by the American Biogas Council on Tuesday, February 26. This webinar may be of interest to cheese industry members interested in learning about:
  1. How to identify the viability of an anaerobic digester/biogas project;
  2. When an anaerobic digester makes financial sense for a food processor;
  3. The benefits of ownership vs. non-ownership; and 
  4. How to finance and complete a project.

Baker Tilly will cover the $89 registration fee for ACS members interested in participating in this webinar. If you are interested, register at:  Baker Tilly Events. Simply click on the "Register for this event" link at the bottom of the page.


Join the New ACS Member Discount Program!

ACS is developing a new membership benefit: year-round discounts for members at cheese retailers around the country. The program will launch this spring, with a growing list of participating retailers that will offer members a special discount when an ACS membership card is presented.


If you're a retailer and would like to participate in this program--or simply learn more about it--email ACS or call our office at 720-328-2788.


Apply for a 2013 ACS Conference Scholarship!

Applications for full and partial ACS conference scholarships are being accepted for the 2013 Conference in Madison, WI. Scholarships are awarded to cheesemakers, retailers, students, and local chefs.
Applications must be received by April 5, 2013. Find out if you're eligible, and apply today! 


Cheese in the News
Safety concerns threaten growing market for raw milk cheese, Harvest Public Media (NPR Affiliate), Feb 8

Doing Time Together, Culture Magazine, Winter Issue

After Artisanal Cheese, Vermont Explores Charcuterie, AP, Feb 1

Brunost: The Norwegian Cheese That's a Hot Topic, The Guardian via Perishable News, Jan 29

In the Dairy Case, Ripe Prose, New York Times, Jan 22

What's Behind Our Culture's Obsession with Artisan Cheese, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, Jan 17

Happy Valentine's Day from the American Cheese Society!

Leadership at 30


This past week, the American Cheese Society was honored to be asked to help another industry organization, the US Cider Maker's Association (USCMA), establish itself and start down a path that many in the world of cheese started 30 years ago this summer at Cornell University. During the three decades that have followed, our industry has been nothing if not dynamic, and recent regulatory actions show that this continues to be the case. At this juncture in our history, we are well-positioned to chart a course for our own future.


When ACS was asked to join a select group of organizations on an FDA stakeholder call last week, we knew that information important to our members was about to be released. That information is now posted to the Federal Register in the form of a quantitative risk assessment of soft-ripened cheeses. I encourage ACS members to read the document, or at least the executive summary, in order to understand the research and analysis that were undertaken jointly by FDA and Health Canada to arrive at their conclusions.  


ACS is fortunate to have an active and engaged Regulatory & Academic Committee that includes respected academics, legal counsel, researchers, cheesemakers, technical consultants, and other industry experts. This group is currently analyzing the report and sharing input and recommendations. With this guidance, ACS is taking a measured approach in crafting a specific, science-based response that we will issue as our official comments on the report. We are also reaching out to allied industry groups and other stakeholders to share our thinking and learn about theirs. We will keep members posted, and ask that you review the document and email your thoughts to ACS, as well as direct your comments to the Federal Register. This is an opportunity for ACS and its members to serve as ambassadors of our growing industry, and to represent our professionalism and passion for what we do.


In the past several years, ACS has redoubled its efforts to create content and opportunities for our members to produce and sell the highest quality cheese produced under the safest of conditions. Through our year-long educational efforts, the structure of our committees, our advocacy with key stakeholders, and through the content of our annual conference, ACS is committed to helping our industry be recognized as an example of which we can all be proud. This is something we can only do together, through attention to our own business practices and those of our friends and neighbors in the industry. In this, our 30th year, cheese in the Americas is poised to achieve many positive historic milestones -- and it is only possible with a collaborative and constructive industry, where the rising tide lifts all boats.  


Thanks for your commitment to ACS and to the cheese-loving consumer!



Greg O'Neill


My Cheesy Valentine

Nora Weiser-New Photo


While ACS is carefully reviewing the recently published FDA/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheeses, we continue to focus our efforts on providing timely education and resources to our members.  Thanks to all who made yesterday's webinar, Surviving a Recall, a great success, with nearly 100 members signing up -- and for those who missed it, the video can be viewed on our Member Resources page. 


We also continue to collaborate and reach out to industry groups both in cheese and beyond. Last week, Greg O'Neill and I were asked to facilitate a meeting of American hard cider producers, and we were excited to help them officially form the US Association of Cider Makers. The group looked to ACS as a trade association it hopes to mimic in terms of what we offer our members, how we advocate on your behalf, how we elevate and promote the industry, and the spirit in which we bring together a diverse industry under a common umbrella. We were flattered to be held up as an example they admire, and we were happy to share our expertise to spur another industry's growth. Besides, Valentine's Day is a great time to bring together two products that are easy to love: cheese and cider. So tonight, break out your favorite cheese and take a tip from our friends at Farnum Hill Ciders in New Hampshire -- serve cider to gladden the moment! 


Nora Weiser
Executive Director


From the Member Services Desk 


Each month, in this new feature, you'll learn about a great ACS benefit available to members. Be sure to get the most out of your ACS membership by taking advantage of these valuable, educational, and money-saving benefits.


Each winter, ACS presents educational webinars available at no cost exclusively to our members. This year's webinar series kicked off this week with Surviving a Recall. To watch this webinar and archives of previous webinars, members can visit the Member Resources section of our website. Previous webinars include but are not limited to "Preparing a HACCP Plan", "Risk Reduction in Cheesemaking Facilities", and "Storage Temperatures Necessary to Maintain Food Safety".


Scholarship applications for ACS cheesemakers, retailers, students, and chefs to attend ACS's 30th Annual Conference & Competition are now being accepted. Full scholarship recipients receive a complimentary conference registration, up to four nights' hotel accommodation in Madison, and up to $500 toward travel expenses.  Partial scholarship recipients receive a complimentary conference registration. For more details on qualifications and responsibilities, or to apply, click here


I hope to see you in Madison this summer,

Jana Hemphill

Member Services Specialist


ACS Releases 2012 Cheesemaker Industry Data 


This month, ACS released a public report containing data from its 2nd Annual Cheesemaker Industry Survey. The survey data, analyzed from the responses of more than 200 artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheesemakers in the United States and Canada, includes trends in food safety and regulatory matters, business practices and protocols, production volume, budgeting and revenue, raw milk cheese production, and more. Click here to download a copy of the report.

Watch Surviving a Recall - Webinar Video Now Available!  


Yesterday, ACS offered its first member webinar of 2013, Surviving a Recall. This timely webinar was designed to provide cheese professionals across the industry with invaluable information about the steps they can take to prepare for, prevent, and even survive a recall. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch a video recording of the session in the Member Resources section of the ACS website. 


Don't Miss Your Chance to be Certified!  


Spaces for the Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam are filling quickly! If you plan to take the exam on July 31 in Madison, WI, be sure to submit your application and the $35 application fee as soon as possible. For organizations that have reserved multiple seats, all applications and fees are due February 28. For individuals, applications and fees are due March 31.   


Exam seats are filled based on the application submission date, and will only be held if full exam payment ($500 for ACS members, $650 for non-members) is received within 60 days of acceptance.


Are you certifiable? Check out the exam eligibility criteria and apply today


Member Profile: Author Kirstin Jackson  


Kirstin Jackson fell in love with cheese at a young age. Driving around Northern California and taking tours of creameries with her parents was Kirstin's entry into the world of cheese. Says Kirstin, "A good way to bond and keep a teenager in the car with you is to give her cheese at the end of the trip." Fast forward to 2007, when Kirstin decided to stop writing her wine and food pairing blog "because it wasn't enough of an escape for me from my everyday work life working in a wine shop," and committed to her passion for cheese online. With that decision, It's Not You, It's Brie, was born. Kirstin loved being able to "geek out" on her blog by conducting research and delving deeper into a subject she was already so interested in.

Continuing to focus on her passion for cheese, Kirstin published her first book in November 2012. "It's Not You, It's Brie: Unwrapping America's Unique Culture of Cheese" takes the reader on a journey to discover 48 American cheesemakers, telling the story of each particular cheese and explaining the make process. The book also includes pairing suggestions and recipes, and it pulls from Kirstin's experiences as an Anthropology major at UC Berkeley, a professionally-trained chef, a wine bar manager, and a cheese program director... (Continue reading this story).


Save the Dates! ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind


Mark your calendar for the Annual ACS Conference & Competition in Madison, Wisconsin: July 31 - August 3, 2013. Registration opens May 6. We'll post program highlights and a detailed schedule on our website in the coming months; look for the latest information in CheeseBytes. And if you're interested in gaining brand visibility among more than 800 conference-goers in Madison, don't forget to check out our menu of sponsorship opportunities. We hope to see you there!




Connect to ACS

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

Find us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     View our profile on LinkedIn