In This Issue...
Early Bird Reg Opens May 5!
ACS Needs You!
Apply for the DZTA
What's In a Name?
April Showers Bring...Edible Flowers!
Member Milestones
Cheese in the News
Reserve Your Sponsorship
Let the Entering Begin!
Profile: Lucy's Whey
CCP Exam News
Early Bird Conference Registration Opens May 5!


'Early Bird' registration for the 2014 ACS Conference & Competition in Sacramento will open on Monday, May 5. Mark your calendar to ensure that you can take advantage of the lowest registration rates. 


Conference sponsors at the $1,000 level or above can register even earlier, starting on April 29. Contact ACS to learn more about sponsorship.


Visit our website for registration rates and conference updates, including a schedule of this year's educational program. 

ACS Needs You!
Volunteer in Sacramento


The ACS Conference & Competition is just a few months away -- and we need your help to make our 31st annual event a success!


ACS is seeking volunteers to assist with shifts in Sacramento, CA from Thurs, July 24 through Sat, August 2. Opportunities include helping with Judging & Competition entry receiving and the movement of cheeses for judging; prep of cheeses for educational sessions and events like the Festival of Cheese and Cheese Sale; assistance with on-site registration; and more!


To show our appreciation, ACS will offer volunteers:


  • Complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on Friday, August 1, where you can sample 1,700+ competition cheeses and specialty foods ($55 value).
  • Official volunteer t-shirt available only to volunteers!
  • Complimentary meal whenever your shift coincides with an ACS Conference scheduled meal time.
  • For volunteers assisting with the Judging & Competition during an 8+ hour shift, one complimentary ticket to the Awards Ceremony & Reception on Thurs, July 31 ($55 value)
Register online, and find the opportunity that's right for you:

Note: if you volunteered for ACS in 2012 or 2013 using the Shiftboard site, you will need to re-register via the site in order to volunteer in 2014

Apply for the 2014 Daphne Zepos Teaching Award!


Applications for the 2014 Daphne Zepos Teaching Award are now being accepted! The award is an annual scholarship of $5,000 awarded to a food industry professional to further their learning--and their ability to educate others--about cheese. The scholarship winner will travel to Europe to immerse themselves in cheese learning, and will attend the 2015 ACS Conference to educate others about what they have learned.


To learn about the scholarship, and to apply for 2014, visit


What's In A Name?


Ashley from MouCo Cheese Company


MouCo Cheese Co. selected the name "Ashley" for their cheese because they wanted something that would reflect what the cheese is: Co-owner Robert Poland says, "Since it is an ash cured rind, we came up with a variety of fun names, of which Ashley won out."  


April Showers Bring...Edible Flowers!


With the changing seasons, now is the perfect time to take advantage of a delicious spring crop: edible flowers. Check out a guide to selecting and cooking with edible flowers, and try your hand at the recipes below.



Fig and Lavender Goat Cheese Galettes (pictured above)


Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms


Arugula Pesto with Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi


Member Milestones


Cheese in the News


Zagat names Chicago's top '30 Under 30', Chicago Tribune, March 31


Say cheese the eco way, New Zealand Herald, March 29


Dear Fellow ACS Members,



I hope everyone is finally experiencing spring and all that comes with it! Farmers' markets are starting up; kids, lambs, and calves are born; and fresh cheese is starting to hit the market. After the winter that has been, it is a very welcome development!


As with our industry as a whole, there is a great deal happening at ACS right now. Here's an overview:

Preparations for the ACS Conference in Sacramento are coming together, and The Golden State is putting together an amazing program for ACS members. Mark your calendar for July 29-August 1. We have changed the conference schedule so that it ends on Friday this year, giving everyone the opportunity for sightseeing and visits around the region. There are great places to visit in Sacramento's backyard, and wonderful things to do and eat in the SAC itself! Thanks to the Conference Planning Committee and the ACS staff for their hard work to make this an amazing event.

Our committees are very busy working on a number of deliverables that you will learn about at Conference, which is one more reason to make sure that you're there. In the meantime, here are some highlights:


The Certification Committee is doing a phenomenal job of preparing for a record-breaking exam in Sacramento, with more than 250 of our industry's best and brightest studying to achieve the prestigious ACS CCP designation. Special thanks to the committee, led by Max McCalman and our board liaison Pat Ford! 


The Membership Committee, led by board chair and committee chair Christine Hyatt, is taking a fresh look at how we serve our membership, including the possibility of additional or modified classifications of membership to address the morphing needs of our industry and this association. The Best Practices effort for cheesemakers is also progressing on time, and we are very pleased to share it with you this summer as yet another benefit of membership.


The Executive Committee is traveling to Denver this weekend, to ACS headquarters, for a deep-dive meeting on forward-looking projects with our staff. We will continue to look at the many ways we can grow offerings and create benefits. If there are benefits that you would like to see us offer, send your thoughts to Nora Weiser!

Another piece of great news is that Jess Perrie, the first recipient of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA), recently traveled on the first-ever scholarship trip to Spain's Basque region to learn about cheesemaking in the Pyrenees! The bonus for all of us is that as part of winning the DZTA, she has the opportunity to share what she learned at the ACS Conference in Sacramento. Everyone wins, and we get to celebrate the vision and legacy of one of our industry's brightest lights, living on through this wonderful program. Wish to be considered for the 2014 DZTA? Applications are now being accepted. Learn more on the DZTA website.


There's much more to share, but we'll save some news for next time! Please keep an eye out for our board elections in the coming weeks. On behalf of the board, I want to thank all who are slated for the upcoming election, as well as others who expressed interest. Our cup runneth over, and the best part is that regardless of outcome, there are opportunities for everyone to contribute and make a difference.

Wishing you a great spring season, and I hope you'll start making plans to join us this summer in California. 'Early Bird' registration opens May 5!


Greg O'Neill

No Better Time Than the Present

Nora Weiser in Scarf


My 10-year-old son is working on a school project for which he must answer a question of interest to him. He chose the following question: "Does time exist?" He is creating a flow chart with yes or no questions, each of which leads the user to the ultimate answer to the question. I admit, I don't fully understand relativity or quantum mechanics...but I do appreciate what he is trying to do: convince everyone that time doesn't exist. As a 10-year-old, he has little interest in "clock time" or other man-made constructs to quantify time. His premise is that fundamentally, "the universe must be timeless."


Fascinating? Yes. Good for getting out the door in morning? No.


With the hectic conference season arriving here at ACS, I've been thinking a lot lately about time. If something doesn't exist, how can I keep running out of it? And how do so many deadlines keep creeping up? And how can one be late for anything? I find it incredibly hard to look at the big picture of universal time as nonexistent, when it seems like there are never enough hours in each day to complete everything I need to do.

In the end, the lesson I've taken from this school project is that we all create our own constructs of time, and what we choose to do to fill it. I've also learned how little we think deeply in daily life, instead taking for granted that things are largely as they seem. We experience time in a linear fashion, so we create key points along that line to allow us to understand our progress. Stepping back and thinking of time in this abstract way makes it easier to let go of many irrelevant, passing concerns.

Time may well be an illusion, but deadlines are deadlines, and the calendar pages still turn forward in our physical experience of time.

Maybe for his next project, I'll ask him how to age a cheese for sixty days in a universe without time.




Nora Weiser

Executive Director


Reserve Your Sponsorship & Register Early for ACS 2014!


Gain visibility among the most respected members of the American cheese community, showcase your products or brand to nearly 1,000 industry leaders, and build long-lasting relationships with customers via a 2014 ACS Conference sponsorship! Sponsorships are available for cheesemakers, distributors, suppliers, specialty food producers, and all friends of cheese.


Sponsors receive a range of valuable benefits at the Conference and year-round, including the first opportunity to register for the Conference, before "Early Bird" registration opens on May 5.* The sponsor registration period opens next Tuesday. Reserve your sponsorship today to take advantage of this great new benefit!


Learn more about sponsorship opportunities and download a brochure, or contact ACS at 720-328-2788 to reserve your sponsorship today!



*This benefit is offered to sponsors at the $1,000 level and above.


Let the Entering Begin!

While spring is in full bloom in some parts of the land, the snow may just be starting its big melt in other regions. Spring is a magical time of year on a farm, when green grasses start to emerge from the ground and farm babies have been recently born and are experiencing the first rays of sunshine on their faces.


The calendar has turned a full year and it is now time again to prepare for the 2014 ACS Judging & Competition. The call for entries opened on April 9th, and it is time to decide which cheeses and cultured products you want to submit. Our 19 teams of judges have been selected to evaluate all of the different categories, and our new cheese curds category will have a special team to judge them at their peak on Saturday, July 26.


So, how do you enter? ACS Programs & Operations Director, Michelle Lee has spent countless hours in the last few months putting together our new website,, dedicated to Judging & Competition and to helping cheesemakers enter with ease and success.


The website gives entering cheesemakers the tools they need and walks them through the process of entering and getting cheeses ready for the big event. I encourage you to peruse the new website and get familiar with it before entering. I think you will find it very useful. The new site now profiles all of our 2014 judges and Judging & Competition Committee members, as well as the history of the ACS judging. You can also view downloadable brochures of the past dozen years of the Judging & Competition, showing all of the winners of the past. You'll find answers in the FAQ section and get tips on how to ship your cheese in tiptop condition.


As we approach the upcoming ACS Conference & Competition in Sacramento, you will see a few key entry deadlines. The first deadlines in the queue are as follows:


2014 Entry Deadlines & Fees 

  • Friday, May 9 (Entry Deadline, $60 per product)
  • Friday, May 16 (Late Entry Deadline, $85 per product). No entries will be accepted after this date.

So, have a look at the new website and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about the entry process this year. As always, we look forward to seeing all of the wonderful cheeses and cultured dairy products that come to competition.


Have a happy and healthy spring!


Tom Kooiman

Chair, Judging & Competition Committee


Retailer Profile: Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill


Lucy's Whey recently opened a new store, Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill, on the Upper East Side, in addition to their original shop in Chelsea Market. Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill carries around 100 cheeses at a time. "We emphasize American artisanal cheese because our roots are in American cheese," says Amy Thompson, "but with a larger cheese case than our earlier shops, we decided to expand our selection to highlight some European cheeses as well."

The shop is proud to be carrying some cheeses from Peter Dixon's new operation, Parish Hill Creamery. "We are currently featuring the Humble Herdsman, a plump semi-firm cheese washed in hard cider that Peter makes himself," says Amy. They also have West West Blue, a stunning Gorgonzola-style cheese with beautiful pepperiness. Another cheese that customers can't get enough of is Oma from Von Trapp Farmstead/Cellars at Jasper Hill...[continue]

Certified Cheese Professional Exam News


The 2014 ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam is full, and applications are now being accepted for the 2015 CCP Exam in Providence, RI. If you are interested in taking the exam on July 29, 2015, be sure to apply as soon as possible. As always, spaces for the exam are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.


It's also never too late to start studying for the next exam! Attending the ACS Conference in Sacramento is a great way to learn more about the industry, and your attendance counts toward the number of industry hours required to be eligible to take the exam. To learn more, or to apply for 2015, click here.


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.