Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
ACS Conference Haiku
Food Safety & Artisan Cheesemaking
Hotel Rooms in Madison
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Goes Green
WI Cheesemaker Pub Crawl
Traveling with Cheese
Member Milestones
Cheese in the News
Regular Conference Registration Ends June 26
Regulatory News & Updates
Getting Ready for the Judging & Competition
Volunteer in Madison
CCP Exam Updates
Scholarship Winners
Register for Meet the Cheesemaker
Stay Connected to ACS

ACS Conference Haiku

This summer we get

"In a Dairy State of Mind"--

Madison bound!


Upon the waters

of Lake Monona, we shall

meet and eat great cheese.


Through education,

tours, tastings, events, we shall discover great cheese.


Judges will taste, score,

and evaluate; we shall

celebrate great cheese.


At the bar we grow

our network of friends, who shall raise a glass to cheese.


Each year we gather

to support and promote great

American cheese.


Hope to see you in Madison!


Nora Weiser

Executive Director  


Don't Miss "Food Safety & Artisan Cheesemaking" in Madison on July 31 


If you're joining ACS in Madison, you won't want to miss "Food Safety & Artisan Cheesemaking" -- a full day pre-conference session on Wednesday, July 31 ($149). Led by DJ D'Amico, Ph.D., this course builds upon cor
e knowledge of dairy hygiene, good manufacturing and hygiene practices, sanitation standard operating procedures, and other pre-requisite programs to help producers improve their operations and achieve food safety by preventing, monitoring and reducing risks in critical areas before they become regulatory or affect the consumer.

Check out a full description on our website. If you've already registered for the conference and wish to add this session to your schedule, simply call the ACS office at 720-328-2788 and we'll add it for you.

We hope to see you there! 

Hotel Rooms in Madison


Hotel rooms in Madison are still available for the ACS Conference. If you are in need of lodging, we encourage you to contact the following hotel, which is located within walking distance of Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center:

Best Western Inn on the Park



If you need additional lodging recommendations, please contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788. 


Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Goes Green   


Approximately 7 years ago, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese of Waterloo, Wisconsin, decided to "go green" and partnered with Clear Horizon of Milwaukee to build an anaerobic digestion system at the Crave Brothers farm. Crave Brothers thought the system would be a good way to generate green energy and eliminate methane gas at the same time.


The anaerobic digestion system works via two large 700,000 gallon enclosed tanks that hold the waste from the farm and cheese factory. The waste is heated to 105�, the ideal temperature for maximum microbial activity. One of the results of the microbial activity is methane gas, which is highly combustible. The methane gas powers the engine that turns the turbine, which in turn...[click to continue reading]


Join Us for the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl!  


Join hundreds of ACS members on July 31 in Madison (from 7 - 10 PM) for the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl! Grab your Pub Crawl Cap (included in the $10 registration fee) and visit six local pubs, where your hosts will be eighteen award-winning Wisconsin cheesemakers -- among them  Myron Olson, Joe Widmer, Andy Hatch, Marieke Pentermen, Katie Hedrich, Sid cook, Mike Matucheski, and many more. Ask them to sign your pub crawl passport while you try their cheeses, enjoy some libations, and catch up with fellow ACS members!


If you haven't registered for the ACS Conference yet, simply select the Pub Crawl during the online registration process. If you have already registered, please call the ACS office at 720-328-2788 to add the Pub Crawl to your registration.


Traveling with Cheese   

With the ACS Conference (and our Cheese Sale) just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about how to bring some of your favorite cheeses home from Madison. All ACS Conference attendees will receive an insulated tote bag, which helps to keep cheeses cool during transport. This article offers some additional tips that will make it even easier to get your cheese finds home in great shape:
Don't forget to check out the Transportation Security Administration's guidelines on Traveling with Food or Gifts. Make sure you understand the rules for checked luggage and carry-on bags before you fill them up with pieces of cheese...and avoid cheese spreads and dips altogether if you hope to make it through security with cheese in-hand!

Image: Dieter Roth's suitcases full of cheese, ca. 1970, from

Supporting Sheana Davis 


ACS member Sheana Davis has been a cheerleader for cheese-makers, farmers, chefs, ranchers and localized food movements for more than 24 years. Tireless in her efforts to support the causes she believes in, network the culinary community and promote the good work of others, Sheana is a rallying force in Sonoma County -- and far beyond.

Now, members of the cheese community are cheerleading Sheana through some ongoing medical issues and expenses. Friends of Sheana have established a fund to help raise money to support her medical expenses. If you wish to contribute, or to learn more, please click here. 

Cheese in the News
A Milestone Summer for Cheese!


June is a wonderful time for our industry, as it shows us at our very best. With farmers' markets in full force, pasture-fed animals grazing for nutrient-rich cud, and customers foraging the cheese case for the finest flavors of the season, it is a time when American-produced cheese shines! Just this past weekend, Ken and I got back to the farm to help produce fresh chevre and rub elbows with energetic kids and the dedicated folks who work tirelessly to support retailers and consumers with top quality product. On top of all this, we are preparing for the Summer Fancy Food Show which returns to NYC next week after a several year hiatus. And, most importantly, we are gearing up for what promises to be a memorable 30th Anniversary Conference in Madison, as we shift into a "Dairy State of Mind"!


It has also been a very busy spring for our industry, and I want to let you know that -- in our ongoing commitment to engage with federal regulatory authorities and affiliated industry -- ACS participated on May 22 in a day-long meeting with FDA/USDA/CDC in Washington, DC on their Interagency Risk Assessment-L. monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens. I am pleased to say that I had the opportunity to personally represent ACS at the meeting, and it was clear from the active listening and warm reception after our prepared comments that ACS is working its way towards establishing a "place at the table" with our regulatory partners. This great work was started some years back by my predecessors, and it is clear that we must remain visible, constructive, and persistent in order to build the bridges necessary to help craft our industry's future. There were some helpful and insightful presentations made at the meeting, and ACS will post those to our website soon for you to check out.

At the meeting, ACS was also informed by FDA that we will receive a formal response to our Federal Register comments on the Joint FDA/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the U.S. and Canada in the not-so-distant future. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, see this issue of CheeseBytes for a look at the official comments made by ACS at the May 22 meeting. The deadline to make a public comment on the draft risk assessment on Listeriosis in retail delis is June 24. Your input matters and makes a difference to our industry, so we encourage you to comment!

Now, it's off to the Summer Fancy Food Show, and then it is just a few short weeks until our 30th Anniversary Conference, featuring a record number of cheese entries, almost 200 Certified Cheese Professional Exam takers, and what looks to be one of the strongest turnouts for an ACS conference in many moons. The program, the setting, and our hosts are all amazing, and I wish to thank the hard work of Nora Weiser's team and our dedicated co-chairs, Jeanne Carpenter, Sara Hill, and Bob Wills! There are still hotel rooms available, and we can accommodate plenty of people in our educational sessions, so be sure to join us for a piece of cheese history as we ponder and debate what lies ahead for ACS in the next thirty years.

Enjoy the warmth and sunshine, and see you all soon.


Greg O'Neill

Register Today! Regular Conference Registration Ends June 26  


Regular registration for ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind, the 2013 ACS Conference, ends on Wednesday, June 26. Register now before registration rates increase by $100. We're expecting record attendance at this milestone event, and there's still plenty of room in our incredible educational sessions. Plus, you won't want to miss our great conference tours and special events! Visit our website for a Schedule-at-a-Glance and other valuable conference information.



$595 member / $794 non-member



$695 member / $894 non-member




Regulatory News & Updates   


ACS Comments on Risk Assessment of Listeria in Retail Delicatessens 

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) released their draft Interagency Risk Assessment--Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens this spring. The purpose of the draft was to evaluate the conditions that contribute to cross contamination and ultimately, to the risk of listeriosis, in retail delicatessens. The draft was intended to evaluate the effectiveness of some retail practices and intervention strategies in reducing the risk from some ready-to-eat (RTE) foods that are sliced, packaged, or prepared in retail delicatessens and consumed in the home.

On May 22, ACS President Greg O'Neill attended a public meeting held by USDA and FDA on the draft risk assessment in Washington, D.C. Greg commented on behalf of ACS and our members. You can read Greg's comments here. ACS will keep our members apprised of any updates regarding the draft risk assessment via CheeseBytes in the coming weeks and months.


Getting Ready for the 2013 Judging & Competition 

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


You've already entered the 2013 ACS Judging & Competition, so what's next? Now, it's time to prepare for shipping your products to Madison. This year, ACS is going paperlight, and we will not be mailing competition packets with your shipping materials. Beginning on July 1, entrants will be able to print all shipping materials via our online entry system.  


All you'll need to get started is the username and password you used to enter this year. Once you've logged into the online entry system, you'll have access to all of the materials you'll need to ship your entries to Madison, including: 

  • Shipping Labels
  • Competition Entry Labels
  • Packing Slip

For members who are entering products from outside of the U.S., you'll be able to print a letter for U.S. Customs which may be included with your shipment.


Don't forget...ACS has two videos to help you safely and properly ship your products to the Judging & Competition. Please visit the Judging & Competition page on our web site to view these educational videos, plus tips for shipping cheese.


As always, there are a few key items to remember for the competition:

  • Remove any and all identifying product labels and marks from your competition cheeses. Any product with brands or labels on the packaging, or the product itself, will be disqualified from the competition, with no refund of your competition entry fee.
  • Send your cheese in its original form. Cheeses may not be plugged or resealed. Cheeses must be entered as whole wheels, loaves, or blocks. Exceptions will be made for larger form cheeses, i.e. Emmental and Cheddar. These cheeses must be presented in the form in which they are available for wholesale distribution. Any cheese or dairy product under one pound of weight will require one retail case of samples, or a minimum of six pieces. 
  • All products entered in the Judging & Competition will be displayed at the Breakfast of Champions or the Festival of Cheese, both of which take place on Saturday, August 3, at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, WI. Please Note: These events will only display products that have been entered into the Judging & Competition.

ACS will send an email to all Judging & Competition entrants on or before July 1 announcing the ability to begin printing your shipping materials. Please keep an eye on your email inbox to ensure you don't miss this important message!


As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call our office at (720) 328-2788.


See you in Madison!


Michelle Lee

ACS Programs & Operations Director


We Need Your Help! ACS Seeks Volunteers in Madison

ACS relies on countless volunteers to help our annual Conference & Competition run smoothly, and our 30th Anniversary events in Madison are no exception. We are still in need of volunteer support, and we hope you'll consider spending a few hours behind the scenes with us!


Our volunteers generously share their time and talents, and receive great rewards: 

  • A complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on August 3 ($55 value) 
  • The official 2013 ACS volunteer t-shirt

Volunteers from all areas of the industry -- and the general public -- are needed from July 25 - August 4. Sign up to volunteer today!  


Certified Cheese Professional™ Updates

Discounted Conference Registration for CCP™ Exam Takers

Are you sitting for the ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam on July 31? Since you'll already be in Madison, why not stay and attend the 30th Anniversary ACS Conference? As an exam taker, you can take advantage of a $100 discount off regular and late registration rates. To obtain the discount code, please contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788 or refer to the latest edition of the ACS CCP™ e-newsletter. The discount must be used at the time of registration and cannot be used retroactively on prior registrations.   


Calling all ACS CCPs™: Celebrate with Us in Madison!

If you are a current ACS Certified Cheese Professional™, we invite you to join this year's class of exam takers in Madison to celebrate another successful exam. Emmi Roth USA is hosting a reception immediately following this year's exam, on Wednesday, July 31. The reception will be held at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center from 4 - 5:30 PM. We hope you'll plan to stop by and enjoy refreshments while mingling with fellow cheese professionals! 


CCP™ Exam Takers: Are You Interested in Forming a Study Group?

Exam takers in Chicago, Atlanta, Indiana, St. Louis, and Western North Carolina are forming study groups for the 2013 exam. If you are interested in participating in a study group, please email Jane Bauer for more details.


Important Information for CCP™ Exam Takers  

Over the next several weeks, exam takers will receive important information about the exam via email. Please make sure that you open and read emails from ACS and ExamSoft, as they contain critical and time-sensitive information.    


2013 John Crompton Scholarship Award Winners

The John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Committee was very impressed with the caliber of the 34 solid applicants who applied for the 2013 John Crompton Memorial Scholarship for Retailers. We thank each and every one of them for their resumes and creative essays. Members of the committee take on the responsibility of reading every application and filling out a rating sheet for each one. At our annual meeting, hosted by Seacrest Foods International in Lynn, MA, we had a chance to discuss all of the candidates and come to an agreement on the scholarship winners.


Applicants came from across the country this year, with women outnumbering men. Many new and small retailers were represented, which we took to be a good sign of the health of our industry. We noted many "change of career" folks, coming from previous jobs in the legal and business fields -- unimaginable just a few years ago. We were struck again by how our industry has changed. To see all of these talented and passionate folks choosing to make a career as a cheesemonger is something we could not have imagined when we were starting out in this business with John Crompton many years ago. It is very gratifying for us to see the scope of knowledge, experience, and commitment that is out there in the retail world today.


We are proud to announce the winners of the 2013 John Crompton Scholarship:

  • Alicia Baldwin from Edina, MN has been working with cheese for 8 years. She is currently the Senior Cheesemonger at Lund's/Byerly's.
  • Ann Duckett of Rochester, NY has owned The Little Bleu Cheese Shop in Rochester for 2 years.
  • Tracy Kellner has been the owner of Provenance Food & Wine in Chicago, IL for 6 years.
  • Beth Lewand opened her retail store, Eastern District, in Brooklyn, NY 4 years ago.
  • Patrick Schroeder has been the Cheese Coordinator at the Williamson Street Grocery Coop in Middleton, WI for 2 years.

Congratulations to them all!


John Crompton was a pioneer in the New England cheese community back when it was still figuring out what the heck was going on with all this "gourmet" cheese. John loved cheese, loved people, and really loved selling. If he could have one of his retail customers taste a new cheese and buy it, he was a happy man. While he was not the most sophisticated guy in the cheese business, very few of us could match his enthusiasm, knowledge, and energy when it came to selling cheese.


We lost John too early, and those of us who loved him were determined to keep his memory alive by establishing this scholarship fund for new members of the cheese community. To us, he will always be "Johnny Cheese" and we look forward to awarding these scholarships each year. The committee looks forward to meeting you all in Madison!


Linda Luke

Chair, John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Committee 


Meet the Cheesemaker Spaces are Filling: Register by June 29 


Spaces for Meet the Cheesemaker in Madison are filling quickly. This event allows cheesemakers to directly market and sample their cheeses and cultured dairy products (up to six different products per producer) to hundreds of key industry distributors, retailers, buyers, and food writers from throughout North America. 


Meet the Cheesemaker will take place on Thursday, August 1 from 3:45 PM - 6:00 PM during ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind, the Annual ACS Conference & Competition in Madison, WI. The cost of registration will increase from $185 to $225 on June 29. If you haven't already, register now!


ACS is on Tumblr!  


ACS has launched a new Tumblr page, where we are sharing 2013 Conference news and updates, along with great cheese-centric features. Check out the latest posts on the page, including the ACS Judging & Competition "Category Countdown" leading up to our events in Madison, and a Q&A with author Laura Werlin!

If you aren't already following ACS on Tumblr, simply click below and select the "Follow" link on the top of the page. You won't want to miss any of our posts leading up to, and during, our 30th Anniversary Conference!

Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CheeseSociety), Tumblr, 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.