Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
On-Site Conference Registration
Conference Attendee List
New Member Reception
Food Safety & Hygiene in Artisan Cheesemaking
Memorable Meals in Madison
Traveling with Cheese
Get in a Dairy State of Mind
The Summer of 1983
Regulatory News & Updates
Important Member Sessions in Madison
CCP Exam Updates
The Home Stretch: Judging & Competition Updates
2014 Call for Presentations
ACS Needs Your Help
Thank You to 2013 Conference Sponsors


Did You Miss the Conference Registration Deadline? You Can Still Register On-Site!


Advance registration for

ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind has closed. If you missed the deadline, you can still register on-site -- simply stop by the Registration Desk at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center on Wednesday, July 31. You won't want to miss the great program of educational sessions and special events that's in store in Madison! 


Who's Coming to Madison?


If you're planning to join ACS in Madison in just two weeks, be sure to check out the latest conference registrant list. Look for old friends and colleagues on this list, and plan to make many new ones at our largest Conference ever!

Are You New to ACS? 
Don't Miss the New Member/First-Time Attendee Reception in Madison!

If you're a new ACS member or a first-time Conference attendee, don't miss the New Member & First-Time Attendee Reception at Monona Terrace in Madison on Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00 PM. The reception, sponsored by Sartori Company, is the perfect opportunity to meet fellow members and the ACS Board of Directors, while learning more about how you can get involved with ACS year-round. Enjoy drinks and Sartori cheeses with beautiful views of Lake Monona. We hope to see you there!


The New Member/First Time Attendee Reception is Sponsored by Sartori Company


Space is Still Available for "Food Safety & Hygiene in Artisan Cheesemaking" 


Presented by ACS in cooperation with Innovation Center for US Dairy, and sponsorship by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board


Cheesemakers: don't miss "Food Safety & Hygiene in Artisan Cheesemaking" -- a full day, in-depth session on Wednesday, July 31 ($149) in Madison, WI. Led by DJ D'Amico, Ph.D., this course builds upon core 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. 

In a changing regulatory landscape, this session is more important than ever. See a full description on our website, and call ACS at 720-328-2788 to reserve your space.

Save Room for Memorable Meals in Madison!

A visit to Madison for the ACS Conference offers countless opportunities for culinary adventures. Madison Magazine recently published its guide to the Best of Madison 2013: Food & Drink, highlighting not-to-be-missed spots -- ranging from the best rooftop bar to the best Caribbean food. Check out their list of dining destinations, and make plans for some memorable meals with friends and colleagues in Madison!

Harvest. Photos from Madison Magazine by Zane Williams (left) and Larry Chua (right).

Traveling with Cheese   

Have you thought about how you're going to bring some of your favorite cheeses home from Madison? All ACS Conference attendees will receive an insulated tote bag, which makes transporting cheese a bit simpler, and the article below offers some additional tips that will make it even easier to get your cheese finds home in good shape:
Also, don't forget to check out the TSA'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

Cheese in the News

New Jersey's 'Cheese Renaissance', Perishable News, July 17

Mexican Cheese Champion, the Guardian, July 12

A Celebration of Cheese in North Carolina, The New York Times, July 5
Wegmans, Cornell boost NY cheese industry, The Wall Street Journal, June 27

Perishable News, June 24

Get in a Dairy State of Mind


What were you doing in 1983? I was a sophomore at Rutgers University, watching movies like Risky Business and eating late night cheese steak sandwiches at the "Grease Truck" with my fraternity brothers. There were seeds of my cheesy future, but I had no clue at the time. Some 200 miles north of me, a group of about 150 home cheesemakers, retailers, academics, and enthusiasts, led by Cornell professor Dr Frank Kosikowski, envisioned a very cheesy future indeed...and so came the birth of the American Cheese Society, thirty years ago this summer. 

What has become of this fledgling group and the industry it represents? That's a question that can best be answered by joining us in a few weeks in beautiful Madison, WI. ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind will be a milestone event on many levels; in fact, we already have record-setting attendance and competition entries. ACS has come a long way, amid a dynamic landscape that has morphed greatly over the years, and yet the organization remains remarkably in tune with the values that drove the original 1983 gathering.


The big question is, what comes next? Of course, that is up to us. Suffice it to say that we have plenty to discuss in Madison. With new regulatory realities, ACS is committed to advocating for our future and sharing information and best practices. What about succession planning that allows industry pioneers to pass on their business legacy? And while we're at it, what about ACS? Is the strategic foundation we established over the last 30 years still relevant? How do we establish awareness and demand for the highest quality American creations among cheese lovers the world over? As an engaged, member-driven organization, we must take the time to ponder such questions, and focus our collective efforts down the road. 


Back to the here and now. As you know, ACS has been working diligently to assist our members and work with regulatory authorities in the dynamic world of risk assessments and potential policy evolution. Thanks to those who submitted comments to the Federal Register on USDA/FDA's risk assessment on listeria in retail delicatessens -- including our strategic alliance partner, the Specialty Food Association, which submitted an official comment at ACS's urging. See its comment in this issue of CheeseBytes. Collaboration with partners is key to raising awareness and visibility on issues relevant to our membership. Stay tuned for more on the regulatory front in Madison, and be sure to attend some of our "of the moment" food safety seminars designed to help us all operate at the highest possible level.  


Travel safely to Madison, and come prepared to meet old friends and new, while participating to your fullest in "A Dairy State of Mind." In preparation, I will rest up and perhaps watch Flashdance, a 1983 movie classic, to remind me to celebrate and be a "maniac on the floor!"  Youngin's, look it up!


Warm Regards,


Greg O'Neill



The Summer of 1983


The summer before I started high school was all about freedom and free time. I spent this wealth of time on very important tasks -- sunbathing at the public pool, memorizing Duran Duran lyrics, and figuring out how to make my hair "bigger." It's a good reminder that what seems important in the moment is often fleeting. Thinking back 30 years, how much of what mattered to you then still matters to you now? If you're like me, there are just a few core beliefs and tenets to which you still adhere. And I'm guessing they have very little to do with the superficial, and everything to do with the big picture.   


The central tenets that spurred the creation of ACS are also the ones that have survived and thrived. As in 1983, ACS members today are passionate about cheese, dedicated to improving and advancing the art and science of cheesemaking, enthusiastic about sharing knowledge, focused on safety, and value the ACS conference as an opportunity to come together in celebration of all things cheese.  And while my hair has gotten smaller, ACS has gotten bigger -- in fact, Madison will be our biggest conference ever. Over 950 members will get "In a Dairy State of Mind" with us, and I hope you will be among that group. As we reflect on 30 years of ACS, our members will help us determine not only what is important now, but what will remain important in another 30 years. Based on history, ACS members in 2043 will still be seeking out the camaraderie, support, and collaboration provided by a meeting of colleagues who share a passion for cheese. The more things change...


See you in Madison,

Nora Weiser
Executive Director

Regulatory News & Updates   


Specialty Food Association Joins ACS in Commenting on USDA/FDA Risk Assessment on Listeria in Retail Delicatessens 

In the last issue of CheeseBytes, ACS shared its public comment on USDA/FDA's draft Interagency Risk Assessment--Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens. If you haven't already done so, you can read ACS's comment here

ACS recently worked with the Specialty Food Association to ensure that their membership, and the broader specialty food industry, are represented in the public comments on the risk assessment. The Association posted its own comment on July 12, 2013. Read the Specialty Food Association's public comment here.

ACS will continue to keep our members apprised of regulatory news and updates, including this risk assessment, in future issues of CheeseBytes.


Join Two Important Member Sessions in Madison!


The ACS Board of Directors invites you to join them at two members' sessions in Madison, where the state of the organization at 30 years, and its direction for the future, will be discussed. Let your voice be heard on timely industry topics!


Annual Business Meeting & Lunch 

Thursday, August 1

11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Oregon

President Greg O'Neill and members of the ACS Board of Directors will present the goals, challenges, and achievements for ACS in 2013, as well as strategic initiatives for the organization going forward.



Town Hall Meeting 

Friday, August 2

12:00 pm - 1:45 pm   

ACS turns 30 this year. As a member, where do you feel the organization should head in the next 30 years? be a part of this inviting, interactive, and informative dialogue about the direction of ACS and the industry it serves. 


Certified Cheese Professional™ Updates

Attention Exam Takers:  


Everyone scheduled to take the exam was sent an ExamSoft/Softeach login and password last week. You will need to bring this information with you to the exam on July 31 in Madison. Please contact Jane Bauer if you did not receive this information, and she will re-send it. 



Exam Takers and ACS CCPs™: Celebrate with ACS and Emmi Roth USA!

If you're taking the ACS Certified Cheese Professional™, or if you are a current ACS CCP™, join us in Madison to celebrate another successful exam. Emmi Roth USA is hosting the ACS Certified Cheese Professional Reception immediately following

the exam: at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center on Wednesday, July 31 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM. Stop by for some great cheese, accompaniments, and drinks with fellow cheese professionals!


The Home Stretch: Judging & Competition Update 

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


It is hard to believe that the 30th Annual ACS Conference & Competition is little more than two weeks away. This is the 2013 Judging & Competition Committee's chance to see all of our hard work come to fruition. Final category review wrapped up last week, and the entry database is now locked. Final changes for any entries will need to be done on-site in Madison.


I always enjoy seeing all of the committee members during this once-a-year event that takes place in a different city.  We work plenty hard as a collective group while conferencing by phone, but when we are all pulling together to operate something like the Judging & Competition in the same room, it feels monumental to me.


I would like to offer a special thank you to Karen and Richard Silverston for their efforts in helping to make our entry database run smoothly. The database holds all of the important information provided by all of the cheesemakers who enter this competition along with helping to tabulate all of the information provided by the judging teams. The Silverstons are key committee members, asking the right questions and finding the right answers.


The next step will be up to you, the cheesemaker, to accurately fill out your packing slips along with getting your uniquely coded entry labels on your cheeses. (If you haven't already done so, please visit the Judging & Competition page on our website to log in and print out your shipping materials.) Then, the final step for you will be to ship your entries to the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison for the Judging & Competition crew to receive and ready them for judging.


Good luck, and may the best cheese win!


Thank you, and see you in beautiful Wisconsin.


Tom Kooiman

ACS Judging & Competition Vice Chair 

Call for Presentations: ACS 2014 in Sacramento, California

With the ACS Conference in Madison just around the corner, we're already thinking about the 2014 Conference in Sacramento, California! ACS's 31st annual event will take place from July 29 - August 1, 2014. The 2014 Call for Presentations is now live. If you would like to submit session ideas for the Conference in Sacramento, submit your session proposal(s) by September 20, 2013.


The theme for the 2014 ACS Conference is: Celebrating the American Cheese Plate. As the "Farm to Fork Capital" of the U.S. and a central location for the state's agriculture and food production, Sacramento celebrates the incredible bounty of a vast variety of specialty foods and beverages including produce, wine, craft beer, and cheese, all produced locally, in or near the central valley of California.The 2014 ACS Conference will enhance the idea of local -- to interpret it more broadly, reflecting the excitement and growth of the artisan and specialty cheese community. Just as a good cheese plate brings together a variety of tastes, textures, and experiences, so too does the ACS Conference. Programming should connect to the idea of collaboration, creativity, community, agricultural heritage, defining our shared interests across regions, and spreading the success of specialty cheese.


Click here to complete a submission form. We look forward to your proposals!


ACS Still Needs Your Help in Madison!

If you haven't signed up to volunteer in Madison, there's still time! ACS is in need of support for our Judging & Competition, and for our on-site Cheesemonger Team.


Consider spending a few hours behind the scenes with us! All volunteers receive an exclusive "Cheese Geek!" t-shirt, plus:
-A complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on August 3 ($55 value) 
-A complimentary ticket to the Awards Ceremony on August 2 ($55 value) for Judging & Competition volunteers
Thank you to the 2013 ACS Conference Sponsors  
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