In This Issue...
What's In a Name
2014 ACS CCP Exam
Congratulations to Amanda Parker
ACS Board Nominations
Member Milestones
Cheese in the News
Greetings from Balmy Chicago
Summer Vacation
Spreading the Love - A Special Thank You to Our Volunteers
From the Member Services Desk
Member Profile: Yankee Hallow
2014 Conference Scholarship
2014 Small Package Rate Increases
Member Profile: Surfing Goat Dairy
Stay Connected to ACS
What's In A Name?

Nanny Noire by Upper Canada Cheese Company,

Lincoln, ON


Upper Canada Cheese Company has traditionally made cow milk cheeses with pure Guernsey milk since their inception in 2005.  As they began to craft goat milk cheeses, they wanted to include these lovely creatures on the profile and added a goat to their traditional label - a 'photo bomb' actually.  So the play on the word between the photo bomber (a nosey goat) and the sensory profile of the cheese seemed to work well.



"We asked our cheese makers what they would name a goat of their own - Nanny.  And as this cheese is rolled in a black (noire) vegetable ash and as Canada is a bilingual country - voila!  The alliterative Nanny Noire was born," said Vivian Szebeny.


Over time, Upper Canada Cheese Company has developed a washed rind semi-firm goat cheese and they have designated this cheese as Nosey Goat and their camembert became simply, Nanny Noire.


2014 ACS CCP Exam 


Spots for the ACS CCP Exam in Sacramento are filling very quickly, and space is extremely limited! 

If you're interested in taking the exam in 2014, please submit your application as soon as possible. The application deadline is March 31. Please note that submitting your application by this deadline does not guarantee a spot. Once the exam is full, ACS will maintain a wait list for 2014. If your application is approved but space is not available in 2014, you will have the option to take the exam in Providence, RI in 2015 (date to be announced soon). 

To learn more, or to apply, click here.

If you already received your acceptance letter to take this year's exam, you need to pay the exam fee of $500 (or $650 for non-members/enthusiasts) within 60 days to reserve your seat. Payments must be received by the payment date listed in your approval letter. Failure to pay before the payment date will result in your seat being moved to the bottom of the acceptance list. You can call our office (720.328.2788) to pay the fee, or log into your ACS account. If you have any questions, please contact Jane Bauer.

Congratulations to Amanda Parker, ACS CCP!

The Comt� Cheese Association announced Amanda Parker, ACS CCP, as the winner of the second Comt� Scholarship for American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals™. 
To learn more click here.

ACS Board of Directors is Seeking Nominations 


The ACS Board of Directors is an active and dynamic group that is deeply committed to the vision of the organization: to be the leader in supporting and promoting American cheeses. The Board is tasked with fiduciary oversight and the long term strategic growth of the organization. Board members take an active role as leaders advising on matters of strategic import and organizational policy, serving on committees and task forces, and working with staff and volunteers to foster a vibrant, knowledgeable, and passionate cheese community.

The ACS Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for the Board.

The Committee has identified a number of desired attributes that will be part of the selection process. Potential nominees should possess demonstrated leadership commitment and involvement with ACS and the cheese community; relevant expertise in the industry and in the disciplines of organizational management; positive leadership attributes; and a strong commitment to uphold the vision, spirit, and ideals of the American Cheese Society.


Learn more about the nomination process and Board member responsibilities here. If you or someone you know would be a strong candidate, please email a letter of nomination to ACS.


Member Milestones

Cheese in the News
Cheesemaking Workshop Planned,  Atlantic Farm Focus, Jan 30
Greetings from Balmy Chicago!


Greetings from Balmy Chicago, where the relatively balmy 44F temperature makes me want to go for a swim! It has been a difficult winter for many in our industry so we hope you are holding up okay, given the circumstances. Spring will eventually come! 


That said, snow, cold, heat or drought notwithstanding, there is a whole lot going on at ACS and in our industry in general. 


Preparations for this summer's 31st annual conference in Sacramento are well underway and I can confidently say that this will be a can't miss event with "news you can use" content and infinite possibilities for side trips, tours and additional programming. Many thanks to Jill Basch, Juliana Uruburu, Lynn Stray and their dedicated volunteer conference planning committee, as well as, our dedicated and highly effective staff who are working hard to ensure that this year's conference builds on the successes of the last few years, which have continually raised the bar.


I am pleased to keep you up to speed on the productive efforts our Regulatory and Academic Committee are making to interface with cheese industry experts, governmental regulatory bodies, universities and reference industry organizations to help serve our membership and advocate on our behalf in an era of MANY moving pieces that affect our world. Our promised Best Practices for Cheesemakers initiative is well underway and is on schedule for delivery in time for Sacramento. We are also working to expedite Best Practices for Retailers. Both initiatives approach from both a safety and a quality perspective and we are excited to bring this benefit to our members.


With regulatory storm clouds on the horizon around topics like wood board aging, potential regulatory "high risk" designations and many other items, we are actively working with domestic and international partner organizations, academic experts and other key stakeholders to achieve optimized outcomes. We will even consider using ACS resources to field original content research if it will help our industry's future.


There are many other things happening including planning for a new record attendance CCP exam and a whole host of new educational programs and webinars that members can participate in from the comfort of their homes or work facilities.


Our upcoming board elections feature some of our industry's brightest and well regarded experts and regardless of the outcome, we will be well-served. We encourage those inclined to be considered for future board service to become active in ACS committees and activities, as this is a wonderful segue to board service and a great benefit to our organization. Get involved!


In the next issue, we are going to provide a more in-depth update on the regulatory landscape from our R&A committee and we hope you will take time to read it an share your input.


Think Spring and we look forward to seeing you all this summer in Sacramento!


Greg O'Neill

Summer Vacation


Nora Weiser in Scarf

With the harsh winter still upon most of the country, there is no better time to dream of summer. And for ACS, that means Conference time! All of today's technology would seem to render face-to-face meetings obsolete - yet I find that in-person time has actually increased in value. I was reminded of this last week when I attended the 2014 United States Association of Cider Makers Conference (CiderCon), where I moderated their board of directors' elections and presented a session, "Good Stewardship is Good Business." The energy and excitement of the conference stemmed from a group of like-minded people with a common passion getting together to learn and share. I know the ACS Conference & Competition will capture this energy in Sacramento this summer, and want to encourage you to mark your calendars now and plan early to ensure you don't miss a thing. A few tips to help you on your way:

  • This year's conference runs from Tuesday, July 29 through Friday, August 1 (this differs from the past few years with a Wednesday through Saturday schedule). This makes it easy for you to bookend your trip with weekend visits to nearby destinations like Napa and Sonoma.
  • Conference co-chairs Jill Giacomini-Basch, Lynn Giacomini-Stray, and Julianna Uruburu have planned six amazing tours on Tuesday, July 29. Three of these will depart from the Ferry Building in San Francisco - so if you opt for these adventures you'll want to book your travel into San Francisco or Oakland - the tours will include one-way transportation to Sacramento. You can opt to book your own shuttle back to the Bay Area, or simply book your return flight out of Sacramento.
  • Sacramento has been named "Farm to Fork Capital" of the U.S. The food scene stems from an abundance of local producers and innovative chefs. ACS cheesemakers will partner with local chefs for a special Dine-Around evening with menus that reflect this year's conference theme, "Celebrating the American Cheese Plate." If you are interested in taking part, there is still time to contact Steve Binns and let him know you'd like to get involved.

Sacramento will be toasty in July, but I hope that after a frigid winter spent grumbling about the extreme cold, we can all embrace summer climes and the warm friendships and camaraderie that will accompany them at ACS this summer.




Nora Weiser

Executive Director

Spreading the Love - A Special Thank You to Our Volunteers


I want to take a moment to share the love and thank all of our hardworking committee volunteers! As many of you are aware, ACS has been self-managed for four years now. Our transition would not have been as successful were it not for the dedicated teams of members and volunteers who share the workload and make our jobs more meaningful and exciting. 


I've had the good fortune of working closely with the ACS Education and Judging & Competition Committees, and on the periphery of many other ACS committees. I'm always impressed by the passion, dedication, and time given to help improve our association and our industry.  


I've been known to tell my committees they are like family, and it's true. Throughout the year, we work as a tight knit group to deliver results. When we're finally together at conference, we work even harder. We may get stressed, and we may not always see eye to eye, but at the end of the day, we celebrate with a few toasts, we laugh, and we even share a few hugs. To me, that's family! I want to send a hug to all of our amazing committee members who volunteer throughout the year!   


Please take a moment to visit our Committees page to see a full list of all of our committees and the fabulous volunteers who help to keep this association moving forward. Whether you're new to ACS or you're a veteran member, we're always happy to add to our growing family. Feel free to reach out to the following staff members if you want to get involved:


Certification Committee - Jane Bauer

Education Committee - Michelle Lee

Judging & Competition Committee - Michelle Lee

Marketing & Communications Committee - Rebecca Orozco

Member Services Committee - Jana Hemphill

Scholarship Committee - Jana Hemphill

Sponsorship Committee - Rebecca Orozco

Regulatory & Academic Committee - Nora Weiser

Conference Operations Committee - Nora Weiser (This group consists of members in the upcoming conference area. Please feel free to contact us for information on future years.)


Sending you warm wishes!


Michelle Lee

ACS Programs & Operations 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.


Receive discounts on cheese and support fellow ACS members! Simply provide your ACS membership card at participating retail locations, and receive instant savings through ACS's Member Retailer Discount Program. A current list of participating cheesemakers and retailers (27 locations in all!) will be mailed with 2014 membership cards. The list can also be found on the ACS website. The list will only continue to grow as more retailers join the program, so check back often to see if your favorite local store is on the list!


If you are a retailer or cheesemaker with a retail location, you can gain more visibility by offering a discount to ACS members through our Member Retailer Discount Program. Only ACS members are allowed to offer discounts. Participating retailers are listed with their address, phone, website, and discount offered, both online and in a print form mailed to over 1,500 ACS members, including Enthusiast members. Each month, a participating retailer is promoted through a Retailer Profile in our Cheese Bytes Enthusiast edition. 


*** If you a retailer that would like to participate, please contact Jana Hemphill at the ACS office for more information.

Member Profile: Yankee Hallow


Have you ever wanted to join a "Cheese of the Month" club, but were intimidated by the thought?  Yankee Hollow might be just the place for you.


Yankee Hollow, a cheese subscription service, was started by Kristi Klemm, with deliveries starting this past August. Kristi had the idea for Yankee Hollow in November 2012. Living in Chicago after growing up in northern Wisconsin, Kristi was reading a news article about Myron Olson of Chalet Cheese Co-op and the decline of Limburger cheese when she had her "aha!" moment. "It seemed so strange to me. I was reading an article about my hometown and so few people living around me now had any idea what was going on there. People in Chicago are so close to artisan food, but they don't know where to find it," says Kristi.  As a fan of subscription box companies (she's a subscriber to Birchbox), her thoughts immediately went to creating a cheese subscription box company to connect people to artisan cheese... [continue reading]

Apply for a 2014 Conference Scholarship


ACS is currently accepting applications for 2014 ACS Conference Scholarships.  Scholarships are available for passionate cheesemakers, retailers, students, and California chefs.  Recipients will receive a free conference registration and may also receive a travel stipend and hotel accommodation in Sacramento, CA this summer.


ACS 2014: Celebrating the American Cheese Plate will take place July 29-August 1, 2014 at the Sacramento Convention Center. More than 900 cheese professionals will come together for networking and timely educational sessions, such as "Beyond the Cheese Plate: Cheese as an Ingredient," "Receiving & Traceability: Best Practices for Retailers," "Creating an American Original or Sticking with Tradition," and Meet the Cheesemaker, featuring more than 70 producers and their products.


2014 Conference Scholarship applications must be submitted by Monday, March 31st in order to be considered, so apply today!  Do you know someone who should be considered?  Forward this email and encourage them to apply!


Download your scholarship application:

To learn more about ACS Conference Scholarships, visit our websiteemail ACS, or call Jana at the ACS office at 720-328-2788.

How ACS Members Can Manage the Impact of the

2014 Small Package Rate Increases


FedEx and UPS announced their annual small package rate increases for 2014. As always, the increased expense of your small package shipments this year depends on many factors, including shipment volumes, sizes, weights, and modes.


Here are some quick facts:

  • FedEx Express package and freight rates will increase an average of 3.9% for U.S., U.S. export and U.S. import services.
  • FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates will increase an average of 4.9%
  • UPS Ground, Air and International rates will increase an average of 4.9%.

The small package shipping experts at PartnerShip have dug into the details and analyzed the new rate tables to assess the true impact to shippers and help you make sense of these increases. Click here to download the Small Package Rate Increases ePaper.


Now is the time to take full advantage of the benefits available to you through the ACS Shipping Program. Click here and enroll in this free program, you receive significant discounts on select FedEx� services - helping to offset these new rate increases.

Member Profile: Surfing Goat Dairy


While the majority of us are in the depths of the cold, dark winter, and dreaming of warm, sunny escapes, ACS's only Hawaiian member is enjoying the season. Surfing Goat Dairy, located in Kula, HI, continues to be as busy as ever during the winter: enjoying the benefits of being in a tourist location, while also working around the difficulties of being a dairy on an island where drought has hit hard.


Surfing Goat Dairy was started 14 years ago by husband-wife team Thomas and Eva Kafsack. Before moving to Hawaii, Thomas owned one of Germany's biggest software companies and Eva was a high school teacher. Thomas and Eva lived on the island of Sylt, off the coast of Germany in the North Sea, where there was a goat dairy that had a herd of around 150 Saanens. The goats grazed on pastures that gave an incredible flavor to the cheese. When Thomas and Eva moved to Hawaii, they decided "if we cannot find anything like that, then we have to do it ourselves," says Thomas. And Surfing Goat Dairy was born...  [continue reading]

Connect to ACS

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