In This Issue...
Lifetime Achievement Award Nominations
Renew Your Membership for the 2015 Calendar Year
Apply to Be an Official Conference Cheesemonger
Cheese for the Holidays
Cheese in the News
Letter from the President
Much-a-Doodle About Nothing
Regulatory News
Member Profile: Fishing Creek Creamery
Featured Cheeses from Beehive Cheese Company

Lifetime Achievement Award Nominations 


The ACS Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2006 by the ACS Board of Directors to honor an individual whose professional accomplishments have made a significant and lasting impact in the American cheese industry, and whose life and character have earned the respect and admiration of their professional colleagues. 

ACS members have an opportunity to nominate a candidate for this award by presenting an application which demonstrates a nominee's contributions to the industry. 


Nomination Procedure:


* Read the full nomination criteria and complete the official nomination form

* Provide a one-page summary of the nominee's demonstrated contributions

* Provide the nominee's biography

* Provide two (2) letters of support for the nominee

If you would like to nominate someone for this award, we would love to hear from you! Nominations will be accepted through May 1, 2015.

Renew Your ACS Membership for the 2015 Calendar Year! 


Membership renewals for the 2015 calendar year are open, and we hope you will renew to continue enjoying the great connections, learning opportunities, and business solutions that ACS membership provides for your business. 


If you haven't renewed yet, you can do so online:


1. Log onto with your username and password.


2. One logged in, click on "My Account."


3. Click on "View My Transactions."


4. Next, click on "Pay Open Orders."


5. Within your open order, make sure the box is checked next to your name and click "Next" to proceed to the payment screen.


If you have questions, or would like to renew via phone, contact Jeff Yeager, Member Services Specialist, at 720-328-2788.


Apply to Be an Official Conference Cheesemonger in Providence!


Are you ready to test your mettle and skills as the next Official Conference Cheesemonger? Join the elite group of cheese professionals who have taken on this role and received all of the benefits this position offers.

Official ACS Conference Cheesemonges are eligible for the following benefits:

* Roundtrip airfare to Providence, RI

* 7 nights at conference hotel

* Personalized chef's jacket

* Free registration for our 2016 conference

* 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, or to recertify!

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.


Cheese for the Holidays

Add dishes featuring artisan and specialty cheeses to your holiday menu this winter.

Cheese in the News

Jasper Hill wins world championship of raw-milk cheese, Burlington Free Press, November 21

Working Hard To Achieve Our Goals


Here we are, rapidly moving toward the end of 2014, with so much to do before the New Year.

The team at the American Cheese Society has been working hard to achieve the goals that were set for 2014, and we will continue until the clock strikes midnight. Much of this work is done through the American Cheese Society's Committees, which grow and contract depending on need. We have been witness to the successes of these groups of volunteers just by looking at the Certified Cheese Professional (CCP) Exam. What an accomplishment, and one that came to fruition through the work of many dedicated members. They had a goal to recognize cheesemongers as professionals, where knowledge, an expert skill set, and dedication are tested. It was not an easy task to set up a certification program, particularly one that is constantly reviewed and improved by the Certification Committee and staff liaison Jane Bauer.

I also want to share an update on the Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers, which the Regulatory & Academic Committee has been working hard on this past year. We wanted to make the guide available to ACS members at our Annual Conference in Sacramento this past summer. However, as we dove deeper into the subject matter, with a goal of creating the most useful and accurate guide possible, we found that our original goal was unrealistic. I want to assure you that this project is in constant motion, and is in the works for delivery at the 2015 Conference in Providence, RI (July 29-August 1, 2015). The Regulatory & Academic Committee has not only been working on this guide for cheesemakers, but it is also working hard on issues concerning industry regulations, both long- and short-term. As you might know, we met with FDA prior to our Conference in Sacramento, and we have since been invited to another in-person meeting at FDA headquarters in Washington, DC in December. We want to continue our discussion on various issues that we're facing as cheese professionals, and we hope that we can have an influence on future policies that are presented or reviewed by FDA.

Please feel free to contact me, or any member of the American Cheese Society team, if there is something that you feel is not being addressed. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the New Year.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Peggy Smith



Much-a-Doodle About Nothing

Nora Weiser in Scarf


This is a hectic time of year for ACS members. With the holiday season comes a retail whirlwind of last minute orders, special requests from customers, the struggle to meet demand when product runs low, staff vacations, and generally looooong hours.  It can be hard to stay creative when your focus is on surviving the season and crossing items off a lengthy to-do list. What can you do to keep your mind agile and your creative juices flowing that won't pull you away from important tasks or lower your productivity? Apparently, doodle!


I often notice sidelong glances during meetings and group conference calls because I am inevitably doodling. Patterns, characters, sketches, vines winding around the margins of my notepad -- I always seem to draw something to fill the voids between my notes. And, I have always felt kind of guilty about it. As if by doodling I was not giving my full attention to the important issues at hand. Yet I can't stop. And, I have found that as I doodle, my mind is more engaged in the conversation and more open to finding creative solutions. 


A few of my doodles.

Recently, I got some vindication for my actions in the form of a new book about the value of doodling, "The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently." It seems doodling may in fact serve a higher purpose. I quickly regaled everyone on the ACS team with my discovery (they all laughed and then promised not to counter my new-found vindication by finding books called "Doodling is a Waste of Time" or "Pay Attention! Put Down the Pen" or "Bob Ross is an Artist, You Just Stick to Taking Notes"). Some of the benefits now being attributed to the art of doodling include: improved concentration, better engagement in meetings, enhanced memory and recall of details, and, as some describe it, "a window to clarity" or "the attentional sweet spot."


So, this holiday season while you are sitting through yet another meeting to tackle the challenges of the busy holiday season, consider sprinkling your notepad with doodles. To get into the spirit, I suggest snowflakes, candy canes, stars, and, of course, cheese!


Happy Holidays,


Nora Weiser
Executive Director


P.S. I have spotted ACS president, Peggy Smith, doodling at board meetings too -- so I know that I am in good company!


Regulatory News: FDA Clarifies Position on Non-toxigenic E. coli in Raw Milk Cheese in Response to ACS Outreach


ACS recently contacted William Correll, Director of the Office of Compliance for FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), seeking clarification on an issue of concern to our members -- permissible levels of non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk cheese. ACS sought to understand:

  • Why proposed permissible levels for non-toxigenic E. coli were changed, and explanatory language regarding raw milk cheeses was removed, from FDA's 2009 Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) draft to the final 2010 CPG.
  • What scientific data and/or correlation exists between the presence of non-toxigenic E. coli and the incidence of pathogens in cheese overall, and how that data supports the determination of allowable limits.
ACS recently received FDA's response and issued a Member Update with more details. Read the full Member Alert and FDA's response here


ACS leadership will meet with FDA this December in Washington, DC. The meeting is part of our commitment to engage proactively around issues of importance to the American artisan and specialty cheese industry, with a focus on preserving traditional cheesemaking methods. In this meeting, ACS will also continue the discussion around permissible limits of non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk cheese. We will continue to share updates with our members as they become available.



Member Profile: Fishing Creek Creamery


Travelers to South Carolina will want to visit Fishing Creek Creamery in Chester. Cheese lovers across the globe begin their journey with cheese in different ways, and Dave and Melinda began their journey in 2008, after Dave discovered that he had developed an allergy to cow's milk. A lover of cow's milk, Dave was determined to find an alternative to meet his cravings.

After trying a variety of soy and almond milks, the couple discovered a local farmer producing raw goat's milk, and finally, Dave had a satisfying alternative to cow's milk. Dave and Melinda were hooked, and after quite a few visits to the farm, they decided to raise dairy goats as a hobby. Their entry into the cheese world took place after the number of goats they owned grew so much that they had an excessive amount of milk. Melinda began learning how to make cheese to ensure the milk was not wasted.


"What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a passion!" Dave and Melinda eventually grew their herd to roughly 50 Saanen and Nubian dairy goats, 25 of which are milked twice a day, every day. In 2013, Fishing Creek Creamery completed construction of a brand new state-of-the-art dairy facility... [Continue reading]


Cheese Profile: Cheeses from Beehive Cheese Company


By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™


** November 2014: Update on Beehive Cheeses; Barely Buzzed, Promontory and the Apple Walnut Smoked Promontory won Bronze Medals in their classes at the 2014 World Cheese Awards held in London earlier this month.


I have had the pleasure of being asked to "make" (think: allowed to do things that won't mess up the cheese) cheese on a few occasions; so when I learn that a cheesemaker left "the fast lane" to make cheese, I smile. From where I sit, while immensely rewarding, cheesemaking is anything but a leisurely pursuit; it's hard work with more than a few moments of intense attention to detail for the make to be successful. And, it's also an art to know how to deal with those intense moments.


Tim Walsh and Pat Ford, brothers-in-law and owners of Beehive Cheese, are two of our artisan cheesemakers who left that fast lane in 2005 seeking a "simple way of life" making cheese. In those nine few years, they have racked up a wall of awards making cheese in the Beehive State of Utah.


A couple of years ago, I picked up a wedge of their Barely Buzzed and fell in love with the creaminess of this cheese with its rind rub of coffee and lavender. You can read my profile of Barely Buzzed here.

Since then, my travels have allowed me to snag wedges of four of their other cheeses...  [Continue reading]




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.


Preparation for 2015 Exam

It's never too early to start studying for the exam. The best place to start is to review the Exam Prep Tips on the ACS website. Start at the section that shows the percentage of questions by high-level category. You can determine the categories you know best, and those that will require the most studying time, and then prioritize your study program. 


While ACS doesn't provide direct education for the exam, you can get in touch with any of the ACS CCP Authorized Educators to learn more about their training.


The ACS Body of Knowledge (BOK) provides many links to resources to help you study.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.


Materials for 2014 CCPs

If you passed the 2014 ACS CCP Exam, you should have received your certificate, patch, and pin in September. If you did not receive your packet, or if your packet was damaged, please contact Jane Bauer and she will send you a replacement.  


ACS CCPs: Is Your Address Up to Date?

If your contact information has changed since earning your ACS CCP designation, please contact Jane Bauer at the ACS office with your new address, so that ACS can update our records. Thank you for your cooperation!


ACS CCPs in the News:

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.