Save These Key Dates:
Cheese in the Heartland
We hope you're getting excited for the 33rd Annual ACS Conference & Competition in Des Moines!
If you'll be joining us (or sending your cheese), mark your calendar:
Friday, April 1
Wednesday, April 6
Wednesday, May 4
Tell Us About the Biggest Concerns Facing Your Business This Year
We want to hear from you! Take a moment to tell us about the biggest concern(s) facing your business in 2016. We will take your feedback into consideration as we continue to grow benefits and offerings for our members.
ACS CCP� News
Applications are Due Today!
Today is the last day to submit your application for the Des Moines ACS CCP Exam, to be held on July 27, 2016. If you are interested in applying, visit our website
and submit your application by midnight PDT.
Did you defer taking the exam in Providence, or did you take the exam but didn't pass? If you wish to take the exam in Des Moines, you must notify ACS
New ACS CCP Directory
We're pleased to share a new and improved ACS CCP directory
. The directory is now searchable and sortable by name, location, and year of certification. If you have any feedback about the directory, please contact us
, and we will continue to improve it.
Calling All Cheesemakers, Retailers, Students, and Chefs: Apply for a 2016 ACS Conference Scholarship!
Are you a great candidate for an ACS Conference scholarship? Don't miss the opportunity to receive a complimentary conference registration and travel and lodging for Cheese in the Heartland in Des Moines!
Scholarship applications must be postmarked by end of day today, March 31. Full and partial scholarships will be awarded to cheesemakers, cheese retailers, students, and regional chefs.
Member Profile: GYST Fermentation Bar
By Alex Lodner
Sisters Ky and Mel Guse thought it would be fun to open a cozy little cheese and wine bar. When they moved to Minnesota from San Francisco to follow that dream, a friend introduced them to Jill Mott, formerly of the Bachelor Farmer. As the three churned out ideas during what they call their "weekly dream meetings," their endeavor took on a life of its own. "People have the idea that wine bars are these sleepy little places," said Ky. "But that is just not who we are. We realized we wanted to work with other products that we were passionate about, like chocolate and coffee." They named their place Gyst, meaning essence. At the Gyst Kickstarter party, Jim Bovino entered the picture. Jim had been farming and fermenting his own produce. He also happened to brew his own cider... [continue reading
ACS Lifetime Achievement Award Nominations
The ACS Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor an individual whose professional accomplishments have made a significant and lasting impact in the American cheese industry.
To nominate a candidate for this honor, read the nomination criteria and submit a nomination form, along with a one-page summary of the nominee's contributions, the nominee's biography, and two letters of support for the nominee.
Nominations must be submitted by midnight PDT on March 31.
"ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers" is Published!
After several years of dedicated work by ACS volunteers and staff, the complete ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers is now published! Download your copy today:
If you are interested in getting a glimpse of what's inside the Guide before you download the document, check out a sample including the full Table of Contents and several pages of each chapter. Feel free to share this sample with others!
Would you like to add a printed copy of the Guide to your library of cheese resources? Contact us for pricing and purchasing options.
Please remember that the Guide will continually grow and change based on feedback from members, academics, regulators, and others. We will review and update the Guide accordingly, publishing updates as needed to keep up with changing regulations and scientific advances. We hope you will share any insights, information, or suggestions that will enhance the Guide, and in turn, enhance cheese quality and safety for our industry.
Reading is Fundamental
In the daily grind of deadlines, meetings, and conference calls, it is easy to lose sight of our most important roles. Whether as an employee among hundreds, or a leader in your own business of one, success often hinges on innovation. Innovation can be found in incremental improvement -- it need not only be defined by radical inventions. Changing a display that moves more product, cutting costs, finding a way to improve customer experience, making your animals more comfortable, finding a new way to show appreciation to your staff; all of these rate on the spectrum of innovation. To be innovative, it is important to look beyond your "to-do" list. You need to travel, meet new and unusual people, truly listen to others' ideas, read, try weird and different things, and mostly, keep an open mind that always challenges the status quo.
The easiest way to explore the world, without ever leaving your chair, is to read a book. So I invite all of you to join the "ACS Book Club of One". While I encourage any and all reading, whether an airport novel, the latest tween dystopian trilogy, or a magazine from the grocery check-out line, the "ACS Book Club of One" is about books that can impact your business, your life, and the balance between the two. Given the fast pace of today's world and the "busy-ness" to which we all seem captive, reading 50 or 60 books is simply not going to happen. But I bet you can read one. One book. And if we each read one book -- and share what we learned from it -- then we can collectively gain insights that can help us lead better, live better, and achieve our own definition of success.
Interested? Here's how the "ACS Book Club of One" works:
- Visit AmazonSmile so your purchase supports the American Cheese Education Foundation. (Bookmark and use this link every time you shop Amazon to support the ACE Foundation!)
- Go to "Your Lists" and select "Your Friends." Enter "ACS Book Store" in the search box, then select "Add Friend."
- Scroll through the titles and pick a book! Purchase book. Read book.
- Write a one-page summary of the book's key messages and how they relate to your business and/or personal life. Please follow this format.
- Email your review to Eliza Wetherill.
- We'll compile and post all of the summaries so that you can access them any time. You might even read a summary and be inspired to...heaven forbid...read ANOTHER book!
That's it! You'll read one book -- but you'll have the opportunity to read everyone else's summaries and gain dozens of new ideas that can help you work and live better. You are the only one in your Book Club of One, so the book is your choice, and your takeaways are the only ones that matter.
If you'd like to participate, and can commit to reading a book and writing a summary by June 15, 2016, visit the ACS Facebook page
to let us know. We might even send you a book from our list
! Either way, I hope you'll participate and help us grow the knowledge of ACS members one book at a time.
My Book Club of One
As a member of the ACS Board of Directors, I have had many things asked of me. While I'm always happy to head to a meeting with FDA -- and even happier to select wine for a board dinner -- reading a book concerned me a bit. First of all, I knew I wouldn't get to pick my own book...and that Nora would strategically "assign" one to me. I hoped I might sneak in a book I'd already read years ago, like "Leadership Jazz" by Max de Pree or "Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly," a book that Ari Weinzweig had read and recommended at the ACS Conference a few years ago. But, mostly, I worried about my ability to find the time to read it and write a meaningful summary. That made me even more concerned, as I have always found time in my life to read, and I don't ever want to get to a place where I can't find a few hours to read and learn.
The book I'll be reading is "From Insight to Action." This is actually a great fit for me at this point in my career, for this point in our industry, and in my role as ACS President as ACS develops our Strategic Plan 2020. I hope I'll learn something new or find innovative ways to approach existing issues from a new leadership perspective. They say you can't teach an old dog a new trick, but they're wrong. You just need an open-minded dog who knows one thing -- that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. A thought from Max de Pree helped me with this idea:
"We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion."
These few words impacted every area of my life 20+ years ago.
Happy reading, and here's to expanding the knowledge of our community through the ACS Book Club of One.
Judging & Competition News
Opens next Wednesday, April 6!
Making the Right Changes
With the advent of spring, I am reminded that we are in the season of babies being born on the farm and spring milk coming in. The grasses will be growing soon and wonderful cheeses will be created.
The ACS Judging & Competition (J&C) Committee has been meeting continuously since the close of the last ACS Conference & Competition. We are well past the halfway point, and as we close in on Des Moines, we start to say to each other, "now it's getting real."
One of the main functions of our Committee throughout the year is to identify and make any necessary changes based on the feedback of judges, cheesemaker members, and the Committee itself. In the last issue of CheeseBytes, Judging & Competition Committee Chair John Antonelli discussed key changes in categories. If you are planning on entering cheese in Des Moines this summer, I urge you to look at John's article
to help you understand these changes.
Another change that we decided on this year was to increase the number of judging teams from 19 to 21 teams...[continue reading]
Online Content Strategy: The Time for Change is Now!
It is now widely accepted that engaging with your customers via social channels is as important as connecting with them via phone and email. Has your business embraced this change? This ACS member webinar focuses on what you should bring to your online content strategy. Melissa Harrison, four-time winner of the Hermes Creative Award and a national speaker on the topics of content marketing, business strategy, and entrepreneurship, talks the truth about time, resources, and what you should focus on in order to have a kickin' online content strategy.
Click the image below to view this webinar with password acsmember.
Green Apple Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions, Sriracha Aioli, and Guggisberg Swiss
|Photo: American Cheese Society
March in Colorado is a tormented month. Like clockwork, the first day of spring arrives, but winter is not yet ready to turn in its snow suit, hang up its hat and gloves, and say, "goodbye, see you next year, old man." Just last week it was 70 degrees, flowers were budding, birds were chirping, and the sun was shining. Then suddenly, we found ourselves in the midst of a blizzard with more than a foot of snow piling up around us. The lights in my house flickered on and off, and the window outside my dining room showed a scene that looked more like December, with its promise of Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer making their annual appearance on roofs across the world.
This recipe, like March in Colorado, gleans inspiration from both winter and spring. These burgers are light but hefty, juicy but salty, sweet but citrus-y -- a meal that is both comforting and refreshing. Make this dish on a cold night at home, or have it at your next outdoor barbecue. The point is to enjoy it and know that no matter what time of year it is, it will make your mouth water with happiness and surprise. Make these turkey burgers,
and browse our other Cultured Kitchen