In This Issue...
Enter the J&C by May 13!
Meet Your 2016 OCCs
Conference Scholarship Recipients
Volunteer in Des Moines
ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers
Cheese in the News
Conference Registration Opens Tomorrow
Judging & Competition News
Register for Two New Member Webinars
The Cultured Kitchen: Summer Squash Tart
Stay Connected to ACS

Have You Submitted Your Entries for the 2016 ACS Judging & Competition?  
The regular entry deadline for the 2016 ACS Judging & Competition in Des Moines, IA is just ten days away!

Submit your entries by May 13 at

Meet Your 2016 Official Conference Cheesemongers!

We are pleased to share the talented team of Official Conference Cheesemongers selected for Cheese in the Heartland! This team of three "OCCs" was chosen in the most competitive application process to date. They will be working hard behind the scenes to prepare cheese and accompaniments for Conference sessions and special events. When you see them wearing their official OCC jackets in Des Moines, be sure to say hello, and thank them for their hard work!

Learn more about this team:
2016 ACS Conference Scholarship Recipients
We are pleased to share the names of this year's Conference scholarship recipients. Congratulations to this group of passionate cheese professionals! 
  • Jessica Affatato, Harbor Cheese Co.
  • Gigi Berardi, Western Washington University
  • Dani D'Antonio, Praire Fruits Farm & Creamery
  • Sam Frank, Crown Finish Caves
  • Tim Johnstone, Capriole Goat Cheese
  • Jessica Keahey, Sweet Freedom Creamery
  • Marge Porter, Whole Foods Market
  • David Rice, Clover Creek Cheese Cellar
  • Rosalie Shestak, Whole Foods Market
  • Sabrina St. Martin, Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery
Volunteer in Des Moines!
ACS is seeking skilled volunteers to help make the 2016 ACS Conference & Competition a success.
Sign up and find the volunteer shift that's right for you!
To show our appreciation, you'll receive an official volunteer t-shirt, a ticket to the Festival of Cheese, and meals whenever your shift coincides with a scheduled Conference meal. Volunteers assisting with the Judging & Competition in an 8+ hour shift will also receive a ticket to the Awards Ceremony on Friday, July 29. If you are attending the Conference with a full registration, remember that you can share your extra tickets with friends or colleagues!
ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers: Get Your Copy Today! 
The ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers is now published! If you are interested in getting a glimpse of what's inside, check out a sample
A PDF of the Guide is available at no cost, or you can purchase a printed and spiral-bound copy for your home or office.

  • Black & White - $25
  • Color - $45
Retailers: Win a Free Conference Registration from The Gourmet Retailer
The Gourmet Retailer is giving away a free registration to this summer's ACS Conference in Des Moines. The contest is for retailers, cheesemongers, and retail employees who work with cheese. Entering is easy: email The Gourmet Retailer a description of a "cheesy" item you carry that draws in -- and turns on -- customers. Or, tell them about your favorite cheese pairing or cross-merchandising set up (minimum 30 words). Entries must be received by 3:00 PM EDT on Friday, May 13.
Learn more, and submit your entry. Good luck!

In Europe, Say Cheese, Rick Steves' Europe

Cheese in the Heartland 
Registration opens tomorrow for ACS's 33rd Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. We are looking forward to welcoming you to this hip Midwest city, and the line-up of education, networking, events, and activities may be our best yet. The ACS Board of Directors and staff work each year to heed your feedback and improve your Conference experience. It is a balance of preserving the parts you love -- like the Awards Ceremony and Meet the Cheesemaker -- while keeping up with trends in adult learning, technology, industry trends, and having some fun.

A few things we're excited about this year are:
  • Opening AND Closing Keynote sessions. Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's Community of Businesses will kick things off with The Power of Beliefs in Business. Author and fermentation guru Sandor Katz will wrap things up with a session that will inspire you to become a part of the fermentation revolution!
  • The Speak Easy. In true speakeasy fashion, this is a place for members to speak, mingle, and explore with fellow conference-goers in an easy and laidback forum. Talks will be presented in 5-7 minutes and can be on any topic. If you're bold enough to share your passions, contact Eliza Wetherill to reserve your spot on the stage!  
  • Exit through the Cheese Shop! Our annual Cheese Sale will be combined with the Festival of Cheese this year. Buy great cheese to bring home, and support cheesemaker scholarships as you leave the Festival.
  • Small group networking. Make connections with others who share your unique focus: shepherds, Canadian cheesemakers, charcuterie producers, chefs, and very small retailers and cheesemakers.
  • A new format for our Town Hall Meeting: we're calling it the Iowa Cheese Caucus! We've added a big picture question for you to answer when you register. This will inform the Board as we head into a year of strategic planning, and give us some starting points for discussion. The whole Board will be on-hand to discuss issues, answer questions, and share insights.
  • Cheese Trivia at the Iowa Taproom. A fun-filled night of friendly competition as small teams compete for prizes and bragging rights. Pull together a team of four cheese friends and secure your spot early as space is limited.
  • Food Safety is front and center. A limited number of slots will be available for one-on-one consultation with Kerry Kaylegian, Ph.D., of Pennsylvania State University; a five part Food Safety Track will run parallel to our usual concurrent sessions; and Frank Yiannas will explain this seemingly simple but incredibly important equation: Food Safety = Behavior.
  • A custom beer for ACS members! Des Moines' celebrated Confluence Brewing Company is working on a custom collaboration beer for ACS this summer. They're brewing 3,100 gallons for us (that's about 2.5 gallons per conference attendee!). You can enjoy it at some of our Conference events or purchase a bottle around town to bring home.
We can't wait to see all of you in Des Moines this summer. We've got a lot of great things planned, but we know that you are the ingredient that makes this annual recipe such a success.
See you in the Heartland,

Dick Roe

Nora Weiser
Executive Director 
ACS Conference Registration 
Opens Tomorrow, May 4!

Cheese in the Heartland
July 27-30, 2016
Iowa Events Center
Des Moines, Iowa

Early Bird Registration (May 4 - May 24):
$495 members/$694 non-members

Regular Registration (May 25 - June 28):
$595 members/$794 non-members

Late Registration (June 29 - Onsite):
$695 members/$894 non-members

See what's in store for Cheese in the Heartland below! Please remember that Conference educational sessions will be filled on-site on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of tasting sessions, which require advance registration.
We hope to see you in Des Moines this summer!
Be Prepared to Enter & Ship: The Judging & Competition Committee Announces a Change to Receiving
By now you all should have received a postcard from ACS inviting you to enter your cheese and cultured dairy products into the 2016 ACS Judging & Competition (J&C), to be held in Des Moines, Iowa on July 25th and 26th. This is an exciting time for us, watching the number of entries grow every day. Lots of companies and hundreds of products have already been submitted, so we thank you.
Here are some key dates to keep in mind as you begin planning:
  • Friday, May 13 - Deadline for regular entries
  • Friday, May 20 - Deadline for late entries (11:59 pm MST)
  • Friday, July 22 - Receiving day (all products will be received on this day only)
2016 Judging & Competition Sponsor
Over the last two years, the Receiving & Logistics Sub-committee has worked tirelessly on improving our processes and systems to increase efficiencies throughout the 7 days required to execute the J&C, specifically during the receiving process. As you may already know, the majority of our 14-person committee arrives on Wednesday and begins work immediately, setting up our receiving space. Our work doesn't end until...[continue reading
Mark Your Calendar for Two Upcoming Member Webinars! 
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EDT
Research shows that the traditional lecture is the equivalent of distributing a report. This doesn't mean your audience will read it, retain it, or even apply it. So, do you want your audience to listen to your presentation, or to learn and apply it? If you want them to learn it and remember it, so they can apply it, you'll have to change what you've usually done. Increasing your audience's engagement through peer-to-peer discussions, activities, and reflection exercises will increase their learning and retention -- and ultimately their ability to apply their learning. Join presenter Jeff Hurt, VP of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, and walk away from this webinar feeling confident about truly engaging and inspiring your audience! Register online
May 27, 2016
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT  
A cheese cannot be any better than the milk it is made from. Breed and seasonality are contributors to milk quality, but feed and milking practices have the most immediate impact on the finished product from one day to the next. The best herdsmen are expert at the alchemy of balancing inputs to each animal and outputs through each udder. This webinar, led by Jasper Hill Farm's Zoe Brickley (in photo at right), will shed light on the complex work dairymen accomplish, especially in relation to production for grass-fed and raw milk cheeses. Participants should come away with a clearer idea of how milk variation can manifest in a finished cheese. 
News for 2016 Exam-Takers 
If you are studying for the ACS CCP Exam in Des Moines, be sure to check out the educational offerings of ACS CCP Authorized Educators. ACS authorizes organizations offering education that aligns with any or all of the ACS Body of Knowledge domains that are integral to the ACS CCP Exam. There are currently three Authorized Educators. We encourage you to contact these...[read more]
ACS CCP Exam Informational Webinar
Are you planning to take the ACS CCP Exam, or are you interested in learning more about the exam? We have scheduled a webinar on preparing for the exam, including what to expect on exam day, critical dates and deadlines you need to know leading up to the exam, and the ever-popular example questions. This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at 11:30 AM EDT. Don't worry if...[read more] 
2013 CCPs: This is Your Year to Recertify!
Can you believe it's been three years since you received your ACS CCP status? Recertifying every three years is required to maintain your certification, so this is your year to recertify! Don't worry: you don't need to take another...[read more]

Summer Squash Tart with Marinated Tomatoes and Fromage Blanc...or The April 24th Tart 
Photo: American Cheese Society

On April 24, 2016, two important things happened: my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and a delicious savory tart was created. Ok, the tart is not actually that important, but I do find the timing of the tart and the birth to be a blissful coincidence. Before even knowing that the baby had come that morning, I was up and making this tart. As the crust was baking and I was chopping tomatoes, I got a phone call from my mom at 8:00 AM saying, "Congratulations, Aunt!" With the smell of butter permeating the air, I starting imagining my new niece's tiny fingers and toes, her ruddy complexion and her older sister meeting her for the first time. No doubt now that this tart must be named after you, little one! So, until your mama has settled on a name for you, this dish will be called, "The April 24th Tart." It is filled with cheese, and squash, and sweet tomatoes; love, and wonder, and tears of joy. 

Make this tart (or your own variation), and tag a photo of your creation on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with hashtag #TheCulturedKitchen. You may be randomly chosen to win a gift basket of delicious goodies from Montchevr�!
Connect to ACS

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