In This Issue...
Cheese in the Heartland
Call for Presentations
Cheese Camp Thanks!
ACS Honors Cathy Strange
Goat Lady Dairy at 20 Years
Who We Are...MATTERS
Comte Scholarship for CCPs
Cheese in the News
Letter from the President
Every Question Has...Another Question: Regulatory News
ACS Session Recordings
Congrats! 2015 ACS Winners
2015 Scholarship Essays
American Cheese Month
ACS Releases Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers
Call for Cheese: GABF
Cheese in the Heartland:
ACS 2016 in Des Moines!

Save the dates for the ACS Conference & Competition in Des Moines, Iowa: July 27-30, 2016! For a taste of what Des Moines has to offer ACS members, click here to watch a short video. 

In the meantime, here are a few ways to get involved:
We hope to see you and your cheeses in Des Moines!

Call for Presentations: 
Share Your Session Ideas!

Photo: Uriah Carpenter

You can help shape the ACS Conference program by contributing your session ideas!
Each year, ACS disseminates a Call for Presentations to members and the general public who are interested in submitting educational session ideas for the Conference, as well as for educational outreach throughout the year. ACS invites session proposals aimed at educating cheesemakers, retailers, and other cheese industry professionals about best practices, new trends, research, and improving products and processes.
Find proposal criteria and guidelines, and submit your proposal by clicking here! All session proposals are due by September 22, 2015.

Cheese Camp Thanks!
Thank you to all of the volunteers at this year's ACS Conference & Competition! We could not pull this event off without your tireless enthusiasm and commitment! This year, we had over 300 volunteers assist with 508 volunteer shifts, offering 2,600 hours of their time. Thank you so much, and we hope to see you all next year in Des Moines!
The cheese and specialty food community in and around Providence went above and beyond to ensure that ACS Cheese Camp attendees would have a welcoming experience. Special thanks to: Whole Foods Market stores in Providence and Cranston, RI for putting out their ACS finery to welcome members; Murray's Cheese for making its cheese truck a "happening" throughout Conference; Trinity Brewhouse for hosting our rowdy crew and giving us our own ACS Cheese Camp Pale Ale; Johnson & Wales, for manning our on-site bookstore and sharing their classrooms with us; not to mention all the pubs and cheesemakers on this year's Cheese Crawl...the list just goes on and on!
Thank you to these and everyone else who made ACS Cheese Camp a success!
ACS Honors Cathy Strange with Lifetime Achievement Award in Providence

Photo: Uriah Carpenter

The ACS Board of Directors proudly honored Cathy Strange, Global Cheese Buyer for Whole Foods Market, with the ACS Lifetime Achievement award at the 2015 annual Business Luncheon in Providence, RI.  "ACS is delighted to honor Cathy Strange for her accomplishments and contributions to our organization and the cheese industry," said Nora Weiser, ACS Executive Director. "Cathy continues to inspire, mentor, educate and develop the next generation of cheese professionals."
Goat Lady Dairy Celebrates 20th Anniversary & Raises Funds for ACE Foundation
Goat Lady Dairy will celebrate its 20th Anniversary at a special invitation-only event on September 21, 2015 at the dairy near Greensboro, NC. Guests joining the GLD family to celebrate include their farm partners, distributors, cheese mongers, chefs and restaurant owners, food writers, advisors, and support professionals. Six renowned chefs will prepare unique dishes using GLD's award-winning cheeses.

Ten VIP tickets to the event will be sold to the public. All proceeds will support the American Cheese Education Foundation's scholarship
fund. Learn more, and buy your tickets before they're sold out!

Who We Are...MATTERS
ACE Foundation The American Cheese Education Foundation is funding a major industry survey in 2016, and we need your support. Help fund this important initiative -- because you matter, we matter, and CHEESE MATTERS!

Contact ACS to learn more about how you can support this initiative, and please consider giving generously at:

Comte Scholarship for ACS CCPs is Now Open
The Comt� Cheese Association is once again offering a special scholarship opportunity for ACS CCPs�. The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Comt� region of France to learn first-hand about Comt� cheese's unique history and production, as well as to discover the know-how and culture of the region. To be considered, ACS CCPs must apply and answer a short essay question. Essays will be judged anonymously on the basis of knowledge and creativity by a panel of judges, who will select the winner.

Letter from the President
In my inaugural message as ACS President, I would like to extend a warm thanks to everyone who made ACS Cheese Camp in Providence the remarkable event that it was. With 1,200 industry members in attendance and the largest number of entering companies in ACS Judging & Competition history, we broke several records this year -- and there is no question that the quality of the education in Providence ensured that attendees were rewarded for their investment in time and money. The ACS staff and your 2015 Conference Co-Chairs, Emilio Mignucci, Amanda Parker, and Sue Sturman, deserve a big shout-out for making this event a success.
For those of you who attended ACS Cheese Camp, I hope you share your excitement about the event and the networking opportunities presented with other members who weren't able to travel to Providence. If you missed the Conference, or if you simply missed a session that you hoped to attend, I'm pleased to share some exciting news: for the first time, Conference sessions were recorded and they are available for download and viewing from the comfort of your office or home. For those who did not attend ACS Cheese Camp, this content will be available for purchase. Conference attendees will have access to these sessions free of charge. As a session moderator, I have seen first-hand that the level of knowledge shared in Conference sessions continues to grow each year. I hope you will find this to be evident as you explore these session recordings. Learn more in this issue of CheeseBytes.
I would like to thank and acknowledge Peggy Smith, outgoing President and current Chair, for her hard work and dedication. Peggy brought a sharp focus to food safety issues concerning ACS members during her term, and we saw that work come to fruition with the release of the first five chapters of the ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers, which we encourage members to read and provide feedback on. She was also dedicated to ensuring that volunteers for this organization are recognized for their incredible commitments of time and talent, both at the Conference and year-round. I look forward to building on this legacy in my term as President.
Lastly, I'm pleased to welcome three new directors to the American Cheese Society's board. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Vern Caldwell of Pholia Farm Creamery and Dairy, Jeremy Stephenson of Farms for City Kids Foundation and Spring Brook Farm, and Sue Sturman of Academie Opus Caseus. The election process succeeded in providing three experienced and talented members to the board who, no doubt, will bring new insights and wisdom with them.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as ACS President for the next year. I am energized by ACS members' passion and dedication to their craft, and I look forward to moving forward those items deemed important by your voice, individual and collective. There's lots going on. Let me know what you want ACS to be for you.
Dick Roe
Every Question has an Answer Another Question
Nora Weiser-New Photo
Any parent knows that unclear answers breed additional questions. This is certainly the case for the many questions submitted to Dr. Susan Mayne and Mr. Ted Elkin of FDA by ACS Conference attendees in Providence. Dozens of questions were submitted, and ACS is asking that FDA have the appropriate staff person respond to key questions about traditional cheesemaking and food safety. In addition, we have asked for, and FDA has agreed to provide us with, more details on the Hispanic-style cheese testing program it is undertaking. We will share this with ACS members as soon as we have this information.
FDA/Health Canada's joint assessment of the risk of listeriosis from soft-ripenened cheese consumption was recently published with many of ACS's comments not clearly answered. While the report is now final with no additional comment period, ACS is drafting a response to express disappointment over the fact that our stakeholders' concerns were not addressed satisfactorily. FDA's call for data on raw milk cheese is another chance for ACS and its members to share data and concerns by posting comments to the Federal Register. The deadline to submit comments is November 2, 2015. Please be sure to share your thoughts with FDA by this deadline to help protect raw milk cheese production. FDA has put out this call for data so that it can better understand the safe practices and safe results of raw milk cheese producers -- so it is imperative that information be shared to this effect. Scientific evidence and hard data are needed to back up ACS's position on the Safety of Raw Milk Cheese.
Thank you for playing your important role in this ongoing question and answer session.

Nora Weiser
Executive Director

ACS Cheese Camp Sessions Available for Download

Photo: Uriah Carpenter
For the first time, educational content from ACS Conference sessions has been recorded and is available to view online through ACS Education On-Demand! These session recordings are available to ACS Cheese Camp attendees at no cost, 
as an exclusive complimentary attendee benefit. Individuals who registered for the full Conference will have access to all recorded sessions. Those who registered for a Day Pass will have access to sessions from the day they attended (additional sessions are available for purchase). Those who did not attend the Conference can still purchase sessions, with ACS members receiving a discounted rate.

This online resource will allow you to catch up on what you missed in Providence, and review presentations led by top leaders in the industry. ACS members will receive an email with their unique login credentials to access the session recordings by the end of this week. Simply log in to with your credentials to download your recordings!

Congratulations to the 2015 ACS Winners!

Celtic Blue Reserve: 2015 Best of Show
Photo: Misa Me Photography
In one of the largest ACS Judging & Competitions in history, Celtic Blue Reserve from Glengarry Fine Cheese in Ontario, Canada, was named "Best of Show" among 1,779 entries -- the first time a Canadian cheese has won this top honor. The results were announced on Friday, July 31, at ACS Cheese Camp in Providence, RI. LaClare Farms Specialties' Standard Market Cave Aged Chandoka from Wisconsin and Emmi Roth USA's Roth's Private Reserve from Wisconsin tied for 2nd place Best of Show. Vermont's Cellars at Jasper Hill was awarded 3rd place Best of Show for Harbison.
The 2015 ACS Judging & Competition included cheeses and cultured dairy products from a record 267 entering companies. These companies represented 31 U.S. states, and three Canadian provinces. Please see the 2015 Awards Guide and Media Kit for a complete breakdown of awards by product, dairy location, and milk source, as well as for producers' contact information.

Stream of the Awards Ceremony
For the first time, the Judging & Competition Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Gourmet Foods International, was live-streamed. Those who could not attend in-person were able to watch online as the winners were announced live. The video recording is still available to view at 

Judging Packets
If you entered the 2015 ACS Judging & Competition, your judging packets -- including score sheets for each of your entries with judges' notes and feedback, and awards certificates for winning products -- will be mailed this week.

2015 Best of Show winners (Photo: Uriah Carpenter)

Congratulations to the 2015 Class of ACS CCPs!
One hundred eighty-seven individuals passed the fourth ACS Certified Cheese Professional� Exam, which was held on July 29 in Providence, RI. This class of ACS CCPs� includes individuals from 51 different companies in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. They join a group that now totals 595 individuals who have earned the ACS CCP�  credential. A full directory is available at
ACS CCP� Recertification Guidelines
New recertification guidelines are posted on the ACS website. The requirements for recertification are simple, and the $75 fee is waived if the ACS CCP has attended the full ACS Conference in any subsequent years since receiving his or her certification. ACS CCPs who received their certification in 2012 are required to recertify this year. Applications will be available on the ACS website soon.

ACS to Offer Two Exam Seatings in 2016
The first exam seating in 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, prior to the Specialty Food Association's Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, CA. There are 50 seats available, and applications will be accepted starting in September 2015. The second exam is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, 2016, prior to the start of the ACS Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Applications for this exam seating will be accepted between January 1 and March 31, 2016.
In Their Words: Hear from 2015 Scholarship Recipients

Through the generous support of the ACS community, twelve individuals received scholarships to attend ACS Cheese Camp in Providence this summer. Each recipient of a 2015 scholarship was asked to write an essay about their time and experiences in Providence. Whether you are interested in their perspective on ACS Cheese Camp, or you are considering applying for a scholarship yourself, we hope you will find inspiration in their words. Read their essays below:
If you are interested in applying for a scholarship to attend the 2016 ACS Conference in De Moines, Iowa (July 27-30, 2016), applications for cheesemakers, retailers, students, and chefs will be available online in November.

Would you like to help make a scholarship available to a member of the cheese community in 2016? Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation at

American Cheese Month is Around the Corner! Are You Ready?

October is American Cheese Month -- a celebration of North America's delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers, and chefs who bring them to your table. This is your chance to spread the word about great American cheeses, experience new products, and help support and promote wonderful cheese, local communities, and passionate producers. 

Now is the time to start planning your American Cheese Month events, if you haven't already! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you have questions about American Cheese Month, or if you need ideas, resources, suggestions, or more, please contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788. We look forward to seeing what you have planned this October!

ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers 

The first five chapters of the ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers are now posted to the ACS Cheese Camp Mobile App (in the Document Center) and to the "Member Resources" section of the ACS website, ready for members' comments. The Guide is a work in progress, to be updated, improved, and amended with the input of ACS members. As a unique community, we have the opportunity, and the obligation, to protect what we do and how we do it. Please take the time to read the Best Practices Guide and share your insights and expertise. You will enhance not only the Guide, but also the standing of the industry.

Call for Cheese! Great American Beer Festival

Photo: Cheese Chick Productions
It's that time of year again! The 34th annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) will held in Denver from September 24-26, 2015. Nearly 50,000 beer enthusiasts, brewers, chefs, and media are expected over three days. ACS will promote our members' cheeses at GABF, and we invite you to participate by sending 1-3 different cheeses for sampling in our pavilion. We will pair your cheeses with styles of beer that enhance and complement their flavors.
If you are interested in participating, contact Steve Binns at [email protected] by September 10 with the name(s) and quantity of cheese(s) you wish to send to the event. All cheeses will need to arrive in Denver on September 22 or 23.
We hope to share your cheese with beer lovers from around the nation!
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.