In This Issue...
Apply for a Scholarship by March 31
Registration for ACS Cheese Camp Opens May 4
2015 Official Conference Cheesemongers
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Letter from the President
March Madness Haiku
2015 Call for Entries
Member Profile: Arethusa Farm
Featured Cheese: Red Leaf Cheddar
Recipes from Top Bloggers
Stay Connected to ACS

Don't Miss Out: Apply for a 2015 ACS Conference Scholarship by March 31!


ACS, in conjunction with the American Cheese Education Foundation and the John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Fund, is awarding full and partial scholarships to cheesemakers, retailers, students, and local chefs to attend the ACS Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.


Full scholarship recipients receive 4 nights' hotel accommodation, up to $600 toward travel expenses, and a complimentary conference registration. Partial scholarship recipients receive a complimentary conference registration.


The deadline to apply for a scholarship is March 31. Don't miss your chance! Download a scholarship application today!


Registration for ACS Cheese Camp 2015 Opens May 4! Mark Your Calendar--and Reserve Your Sponsorship


Mark your calendars: registration for "ACS Cheese Camp 2015," the ACS Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, will open May 4 at

Some ACS Conference sponsorship levels include a complimentary Conference registration. If you haven't reserved your company's sponsorship of the 2015 ACS Conference yet, please contact Rebecca Orozco, Marketing & Communications Director, at 720-328-2788 to discuss available opportunities and benefits in Providence. ACS welcomes support at all levels!

Introducing the 2015 Official Conference Cheesemongers!

Congratulations to three excellent cheesemongers who have been selected to serve as Official Conference Cheesemongers for the 2015 ACS Conference in Providence! This trio will oversee and manage the receipt, movement, storage, and preparation of thousands of cheeses and other donated products that play a starring role in ACS conference events.

We hope you'll say hello (and thank you) to Erin Clancy, James Gentry, and Janee' Muha in Providence this summer! Click on their names below for more information about each of these talented cheesemongers.

If you are considering applying for the Official Conference Cheesemonger role in 2016, or if you would simply like to assist in building cheese platters for events and tasting sessions, we encourage you to volunteer with this team in Providence! Contact the ACS office to learn more.

Whole Foods Market, CA

St. James Cheese Company, LA

Whole Foods Market, WA

Cheese in the News

Member Milestones

 Letter from the President

Hello everyone,


The title of this issue--March Madness--is of course a reference to the NCAA basketball tournament that is exciting sports fans around the country this month. But while games are underway (and office pools are getting interesting!), there is another kind of "March Madness" taking place within the American Cheese Society community. Spring is here, new life (and milk) can be found on our members' farms, and a frenzy of activity is taking place in cheesemaking facilities. Many of our members are also gearing up to celebrate Raw-Milk Cheese Appreciation Day on April 18. At the American Cheese Society office, this busy season extends to the planning of "ACS Cheese Camp 2015," the Annual ACS Conference & Competition. A number of important deadlines are just around the corner: Scholarship applications are due March 31 (see sidebar), the Call for Entries for the 2015 ACS Judging & Competition begins May 8, and "Early Bird" Conference registration kicks off on May 4. We hope you will mark your calendars and plan to take part in as many aspects of the 2015 ACS Conference & Competition as possible!




Peg Smith


March Madness Haiku


Nora Weiser-New Photo March brings promise, with

brackets and wagers. Sadly,

I picked Providence.


Showing my excitement for our awesome 2015 Conference host city--great for cheese, but not so much for basketball. 

I am already thinking of summer, and looking forward to seeing everyone at #ACSCheeseCamp!



Nora Weiser
Executive Director

Spring Is Here, and so Is the 2015 Call for Entries 


As we welcome the arrival of spring, the tempo of the ACS Judging & Competition Committee's activity has begun to pick up. With record entry numbers in the last few years, the beginning of the entry period always keeps our committee on its toes, with those metaphoric spinning plates up in the air.


Now comes the next task in our sights as we are approaching the 2015 Call For Entries which is set to open on April 8 and ends on May 8 (regular entries) or May 15 (late entries). No entries will be accepted after this date.


The Judging & Competition Committee has made some important updates and changes to the categories this year, and I would encourage cheesemakers to review these updates before starting the entry process. These changes affect Category T (Washed Rind Cheese) and include the addition of "other milks" to a number of sub-categories. Please take a moment to look on the ACS website, and view the recent webinar hosted by Judging & Competition veteran member John Greeley. John explains the 2015 category changes in detail and offers important insights if you plan to enter an American Original/Original Recipe. If you are a cheesemaker who plans to enter or someone who is simply interested in learning more about the Judging & Competition, this includes valuable and time-saving information. This webinar is password protected for ACS members; use password acsmember to view it.


Additionally, please refer to for additional information about entering this year, or phone the ACS office directly at 720-328-2788 if you have any questions about the entry process.


As Chair of the Judging & Competition Committee, I have had the privilege of visiting this summer's "ACS Cheese Camp 2015" venue in Providence, RI. I had the pleasure of walking the city and seeing how wonderful and inviting this location will be for both our Conference and the Judging & Competition.


We hope you will participate and enjoy all of the wonderful cheeses that will be coming our way in beautiful, historic Providence this summer. Thank you.


And happy spring, everyone!


Tom Kooiman
Judging & Competition Committee Chair 


The 2015 ACS Judging & Competition is 

sponsored by Gourmet Foods International.



The 2015 ACS CCP™ Exam is Full!
Seats for the 2015 ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam are full! If you apply to take the exam before the March 31 deadline, please note that you will be added to a wait list. If seats become available, they will be filled from the wait list on a first-come, first-served basis. You may also choose to roll your application over to the next available exam date in 2016.


ACS CCP Authorized Educators

People often ask how they can prepare for the ACS CCP Exam. While ACS doesn't provide its own course books or training geared specifically toward the exam, the ACS CCP Authorized Educator Program does offer a range of educational opportunities for exam takers. ACS CCP Authorized Educators submit their detailed curricula, syllabi, workbooks, and other relevant educational material to ACS for review, to ensure that course content aligns with one or more domains of the industry Body of Knowledge.  


There are currently four ACS CCP Authorized Educators:

You can learn more about their offerings hereThese four companies are the only educators authorized by ACS to provide preparation for the exam. ACS is not responsible for the content of courses taught by ACS CCP Authorized Educators. ACS does not warrant or guarantee course content, accuracy of information, effectiveness of test preparation, or individual performance on the ACS CCP Exam. If you wish to apply to be an ACS CCP Authorized Educator, you may learn more on the ACS website.


You may see offers from other organizations or individuals to assist in preparation for cheese exams, including the ACS CCP™ Exam. These entities have not been authorized by ACS to offer education, and ACS does not endorse their content, or any promoted products or services, including flash cards and study guides.



Upcoming Webinars for Exam Takers

If you are taking the exam or thinking about applying for a future exam, you'll want to attend the Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam Informational Webinar scheduled for May 6 at 11:30 AM EDT.  This webinar will cover what to expect during the exam, how to prepare for the exam, critical dates to mark on your calendar leading up to the exam, and several sample questions. Don't worry if you can't attend, as the webinar will be posted on ACS's website to watch at your convenience. Invitations for the webinar will be emailed to exam-takers in April.


In the 2014 ACS CCP exit survey, many exam-takers noted that they had expected certain subjects to be covered in greater depth on the exam. With only 150 multiple choice questions on the exam, it is difficult to cover every topic equally. Each year, a number of exam questions are changed, with new questions replacing them from our question bank. We are regularly developing more questions. If you are an ACS CCP, now is your chance to volunteer and write questions yourself! Find out more about the process by attending the Question Writing Webinar on April 9 at 11:00 AM EDT. More information will be shared by Jane Bauer, ACS Education & Outreach Manager, in the coming days.


Member Profile: Arethusa Farm


By Matthew Spiegler

Dairy farming and haute-couture may not intersect very often, but at Arethusa Farm, in Litchfield, CT, two executives from Manolo Blahnik - makers of shoes coveted by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker - have transformed what was once a falling-down property and farm into a gleaming model of modern American dairying. Tony Yurgaitis and George Malkemus, partners in life as well as in business, had lived in the Litchfield, CT area for many years, when the farm across the street from their property - which was threatened with development into a golf course - piqued their curiosity. Yurgaitis and Malkemus purchased the century-old horse farm in 1999, reviving it as a dairy (Arethusa, a type of orchid native to the region, was once the name of the farm; they chose to bring back the name when they took it over). After a few years of trying to break even on the commodity milk market and being frustrated by the low prices, they decided to take the plunge into bottling their own milk and selling it directly, confident in the quality of the product. Finding success and an enthusiastic reception from consumers and chefs alike, they have branched out into value-added products like yogurt, fresh cheeses, sour cream, and ice cream; in 2011 they added aged cheeses to the mix as well.


I recently had the opportunity to tour Arethusa...[continue reading]


Featured Cheese: Red Leaf Cheddar


By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™


I spent the last several weeks in Georgia helping transition my parents into Assisted Living. While my mom and I waited for my dad to recover from hip surgery, I introduced her to several new cheeses and pairings that were not "too far out there". Last month's profile featured Marieke Goudas which my mom loved, even though she initially expressed reluctance to go beyond her "Cheese Comfort Zone".


I needed a cheese to pair with Salumis my friends at Creminelli Fine Meats had sent my way, and I headed off to the local Ingles. Even though Ingles doesn't offer in-store cut and wrap, they do carry an extensive selection of pre-wrapped cheeses. Keeping in mind my mom's comfort zone, I decided to ferret out a new cheddar (cheddar being her favorite style of cheese). I found several of my favorites from Cabot and Tillamook and smaller batch producers. Nestled in one basket were squares of a Canadian Cheddar that caught my eye: Red Leaf, a two-year cheddar imported by DCI, which is now part of Saputo. It was a win-win; a new cheese for me to taste, and cheddar...[continue reading]
Recipes from James Beard Awards Nominees

The 2015 James Beard Foundation Award nominees were recently announced, and we were inspired to find recipes--featuring cheese, of course--from three blogs nominated for best "Individual Food Blog." Check out these recipes, and share your own favorite cheese-y dishes with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CheeseSociety, #ACSCheeseCamp), 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.