How Have You Been Celebrating American Cheese Month?
The ACS team kicked off American Cheese Month by sampling 500+ lbs of cheese from our members at the Great American Beer Festival -- click here for photos! As we near the end of October, we'd love to know: how have you been celebrating? If you're still looking for ways to get involved, here are a few simple ideas:
New Stock of Peace, Love & Cheese Tees and SALE on 2014 Conference Merchandise!
Commemorate the 2014 ACS Conference in Sacramento with merchandise for all ages!
Special Offer: Buy 2 or more 2014 Conference items, and receive 25% off each item!*
*Discount applies to all items listed below except for "Peace, Love & Tee" tees.
To purchase merchandise listed below, contact Jeff Yeager at 720-328-2788.
Peace, Love & Cheese Tee in Heathered Red or Heathered Navy ($22)
Farm to Fork to Sleep: 2014 Conference Onesie ($15) in Light Blue or Light Pink
California Cheese Dreamin': 2014 Conference Youth Shirt ($15) in Stonewashed Blue
Celebrating the American Cheese Plate: ACS 2014 Men's Shirt ($22) in Chocolate Brown*
Celebrating the American Cheese Plate: ACS 2014 Women's Shirt ($22) in Chocolate Brown*
*Note: Adult Conference shirts run small. For a women's sizing chart, click here and refer to "women's tops". For a men's sizing chart, click here.
Simple Holiday Sides
It's time to start planning your holiday menus -- and we hope they'll incorporate American cheeses and cultured dairy products! These simple autumn side dishes are the perfect complement to any meal. And don't forget to let us know what else you're cooking this season on our Facebook page, or share a photo with us on Instagram!
Kicking Off the Holiday Season
Fall is underway, and we're well into American Cheese Month, the annual celebration of the many diverse and delicious cheeses made by American producers. From American Cheese Month Passports sold at a number of great retailers, to countless events happening around the country, to the increase in activity we've seen on Twitter and Instagram (#AmCheeseMonth), it's clear that American Cheese Month has become an integral part of our industry's fall activities. This is very much in keeping with the original vision for this celebration, and we are grateful to all who have kept American Cheese Month top-of-mind during the build up to the 2014 holiday season. Many American Cheese Month events benefit the nonprofit American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation, so I encourage you to take a few moments to read the words of ACE Foundation President, Laura Werlin, in this month's newsletter.
Each year around this time, the ACS Board of Directors comes together to review our work to date, and to plan for the coming year. The board and ACS's volunteer committees are working incredibly hard on behalf of our members, and we hope this is evident in the great benefits offered to you this year. The Conference Program Group -- the committee tasked with reviewing and selecting session proposals for the 2015 Conference -- also met in Denver to develop a program for Providence that will no doubt engage, inspire, and sometimes challenge us. We're excited to unveil that program in the spring!
It's not too early to start making plans to join us next summer for the 32nd Annual ACS Conference. ACS returns to New England with Cheese Camp 2015: Craft, Creativity, Community, held from July 29-August 1, 2015 in Providence, RI. Thanks to our 2015 co-chairs, Emilio Mignucci (Di Bruno Brothers), Amanda Parker (Murray's Cheese), and Sue Sturman (Academie Opus Caseus), and the conference planning team, for their commitment to making the 2015 conference a great success.
As we head into the busy holiday season, I encourage you to renew your ACS membership. All memberships are set to expire on December 31, and by renewing early, you'll avoid a lapse in your benefits. To renew, call the ACS office at 720-328-2788 and speak with Member Services Specialist Jeff Yeager.
Best wishes for a great American Cheese Month and a strong holiday season.
ACS exists, and continues to grow, based in no small part on the fact that we are a volunteer-focused and volunteer-led organization. It is the many volunteers who share their time, expertise, and enthusiasm with ACS who really make our community strong and unique. Recognizing this, the ACS Board of Directors -- made up of some of our most key volunteers -- is taking a fresh look at the various volunteer programs and the many volunteer opportunities available at ACS. Our goal is to create a statement clearly expressing ACS's volunteer philosophy: the spirit with which ACS seeks out, engages, and appreciates volunteers. This also means determining why volunteerism matters to ACS, and why it matters to those who choose to get involved.
In addition to the camaraderie, teamwork, and fun we hope to share with volunteers, there is also a desire to ensure that volunteers get back more than just a t-shirt and a few words of appreciation. Participating in an industry organization like ACS is a chance for members to network, learn, and grow. Personal and professional growth are real benefits that volunteers can gain. By helping us, we are helping them advance their knowledge and ultimately their careers. To be a volunteer is in many ways to be selfless, to work for the greater good. That feeling of contributing and giving back is often why people volunteer in the first place. What keeps them coming back year after year is the community they develop, and the sheer enjoyment of sharing hard work with those who share their passion. It's truly a win-win situation.
One of the most exciting volunteer programs ACS offers is that of the Official Conference Cheesemongers (OCC). This is a sought-after role at conference, for which talented cheesemongers compete to land a spot overseeing the handling, preparation, and logistics of all cheese served at conference events. The fact that so many dedicated, talented industry professionals apply for the privilege of taking a week off from their paid job to work long days at ACS is a testament to the power of volunteerism. We've been fortunate to fill the OCC slots with some amazing folks over the years, and after all the work they do -- and all the stress of such a large event with such tight deadlines -- many of them come back seeking to fill other key roles at conference. They want to continue making a difference, and being a part of something bigger than themselves. I continue to be amazed by the generosity and energy of these, and all of ACS's, volunteers.
October is American Cheese Month, a great time to think about your industry and how you can give back. Whether mentoring someone on a local level, donating to the ACE Foundation to support cheese education, volunteering for an ACS Committee, or dedicating some of your time at conference to helping out behind the scenes, there are so many valuable ways to get involved and give back to the industry you love. And, when you give, you also receive -- the appreciation, recognition, camaraderie, and growth that comes from looking beyond yourself. "Volunteers are not unpaid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless." Consider the priceless gifts you have to share, and find a way to spread those gifts through volunteerism.
I hope you will renew your membership in ACS for 2015, and plan to join us for Cheese Camp 2015: Craft, Creativity, Community in Providence, RI next summer (July 29-Aug 1, 2015). There will be many chances for you to get involved as a volunteer, and we welcome your participation.
|Enjoy Special Deals with an #AmCheeseMonth Passport!
If you haven't done so yet, you can still purchase an American Cheese Month passport for $10 at a participating retailer and enjoy discounts and specials on featured American cheeses through the remainder of the month! All proceeds from passport sales support the American Cheese Education Foundation's efforts to further educational opportunities for all those interested in producing, marketing, selling, and appreciating America's artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses.
For a full list of participating retailers, click here.
|Consider the ACE Foundation in Your Annual Giving
As we near the close of American Cheese Month, I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank those businesses and individuals participating in the American Cheese Month Passport Program. By encouraging both retailers and consumers to sell/try new American cheeses every day, the customers win, the retailer wins, American cheese wins. Score!
And there's another winner too: The American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation. Not only is the Passport Program a great way to encourage consumers to "buy American," it's also one of the ways the non-profit arm of the American Cheese Society, the ACE Foundation, is funded. 100 percent of proceeds from Passport sales go to the ACE Foundation.
As a refresher, the ACE Foundation does a number of things. First, it funds cheesemaker scholarships to the ACS Conference. The Foundation is also laying the, well, foundation, for a variety of educational endeavors by and on behalf of members. This includes health and safety initiatives, webinars, attendance at non-ACS meetings and conferences relevant to members, and continuing education in general, whether focused on cheesemaking, animal health, milk-related research and information, and so on.
Because the ACE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, unlike ACS itself, it is eligible to receive foundation and federal grants. It may also fund grant-writing projects. And, it's eligible for legacy gifts. This means that the ACE Foundation can be part of your will.
Needless to say, the ACE Foundation isn't solely dependent on the Passport Program. Proceeds from the Cheese Sale held the day after the Festival of Cheese at Conference, along with cheese "grab bags" that are sold at the Festival and at the Sale, go entirely to the ACE Foundation. And, of course, the Foundation always welcomes donations from individuals who are interested in making a tax-deductible gift, whether for the holidays, or at any time of year.
The ACE Foundation is poised to make a splash in 2014-2015 by being proactive on several issues facing ACS members (regulatory issues, anyone?). But naturally, we always want to hear from you. If you have ideas for educational programs that may be relevant to the membership as a whole (a grant, for example), then please let us know. There may be funds for your work.
As 2014 comes to a close, I encourage you to consider the ACE Foundation in your annual giving. The work the Foundation can fund is priceless to us as a community and in turn, to no less than the future of American cheese.
ACE Foundation President
|Renew Your ACS Membership for the 2015 Calendar Year!
Membership renewals for the 2015 calendar year are now open, and we look forward to continuing our work to provide great connections, learning opportunities, and business solutions to keep your business going strong.
Special Offer! Renew by November 20th, and you will be entered into a drawing for $100 off any ACS product or service.
If you haven't yet renewed, you can do so online by following the steps below:
- Log onto www.cheesesociety.org by entering your username and password. Your username is your email address on record. If you have forgotten your passport, you may re-set it by clicking on the "Forgot Your Password?" link at the bottom of the page.
- Once logged in, click on "My Account".
- Click on "View My Transactions".
- Next, click on "Pay Open Orders".
- Within your open order, make sure the box is checked next to your name and click on "Next" to proceed to the final payment screen.
If you have any questions about your membership or the renewal process, please contact me at 720-328-2788 or [email protected].
|Calling All Cheese Professionals: Applications for the 2015 Official Conference Cheesemonger Role are Due January 9
Are you ready to test your mettle and skills as the next Official Conference Cheesemonger? Now's your chance to throw your hat in the ring for the opportunity to serve in this prestigious role. Join the elite group of cheese professionals who have taken on this role and received all of the benefits this volunteer position offers.
Official ACS Conference Cheesemonges are eligible for the following:
- Roundtrip airfare to Providence, RI
- 7 nights stay at the conference hotel
- Personalized ACS logo chef's jacket
- Free registration for our 2016 conference (you'll be too busy to attend sessions in Providence)
- Your profile and company logo, on ACS print and electronic materials
An added bonus: hours worked in the role of Official Conference Cheesemonger count toward your application to become an ACS Certified Cheese Professional!
Kelsie Parsons, 2014 Official Conference Cheesemonger, noted of his experience:
"We understood that we were incredibly lucky to work with so many amazing cheeses and our aim was to ensure that each cheese was handled and presented as best it could be. We shared a great respect for the hard work of the cheesemakers and we know every time we served a cheese, we would also be serving it to the people who laboured to create it."
Add this prestigious role to your resume! A full job description and application are available on our website. The deadline for applying is January 9, 2015.
2014 Official Conference Cheesemongers, Kelsie Parsons, ACS CCP (Sobeys Inc) and Randall Felts, ACS CCP (Whole Foods Market) hard at work in Sacramento, CA.
ACS CCP™ News
Spaces are Filling for the 2015 CCP Exam
The 2015 ACS CCP Exam will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in Providence, RI. As in past years, there is a great deal of interest in the exam, so if you're interested in taking it, we hope you'll apply early! Remember, space is limited.
New Format for the Body of Knowledge
In last month's issue of CheeseBytes, we announced a new format for the ACS Body of Knowledge (BOK). If you haven't checked it out yet, we encourage you to do so! The newly formatted BOK is easier to read, easier to use, and contains updated links. However, the content remains the same. It includes the wide range of knowledge areas that professionals in the cheese industry draw upon, from raw ingredients to the time the finished product reaches the customer.
|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.