2017 Educational Sessions

    Cheese with Altitude – Educational Sessions

    Please note that the sessions outlined below consist of the educational sessions offered during the 2017 ACS Conference in Denver. This program is subject to change. It does not consist of a full Conference schedule; for a complete schedule, download our latest Schedule-at-a-Glance including special events and other Conference details.

    • Session Locations: Unless otherwise noted, all sessions and events will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO.
    • Session Seating: With the exception of tasting sessions, all sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis at the door, and sessions are not selected in advance at time of registration. As some sessions will fill to capacity, be sure to have an alternate session in mind for each time slot.
    • Tasting Sessions: Tasting sessions are optional and take place during concurrent session blocks. Individuals who register for the Conference in advance may reserve tasting session tickets when they register. Space is limited and a ticket is required for admission.
    • Pre-Conference Tours: Interested in attending a pre-Conference tour on Wednesday, July 26? Check out the tour descriptions and reserve your space when you register for the Conference!

    View Educational Sessions:

    THURSDAY, JULY 27

    OPENING KEYNOTE: RESILIENT TEAMWORK & LEADERSHIP: FACING CHALLENGE AND CHANGE ON EVEREST, AT WORK, AND IN LIFE

    8:45 am – 9:45 am

    • Jim Davidson, Speaking of Adventure

    The best response to challenge, change, and uncertainty is resilience. From his many climbing adventures, high-altitude expedition leader Jim Davidson will distill practical lessons to nurture resilient teamwork and leadership in every situation. Jim will share exhilarating stories and vivid videos from surviving the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Mount Everest, and he’ll reveal what climbing alone out of an 80-foot deep glacial crevasse taught him about personal resilience and post-traumatic growth. Jim co-authored the New York Times bestselling memoir “The Ledge,” and his compelling insights have been featured on Discovery, CBS, PBS, and many more.

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    10:15 am – 11:45 am

     

    What’s Next? Cheese R&D comes out from behind the curtain (Tasting, Ticket Required)

    Think of this as “speed dating” for cheese! ACS member cheesemakers will showcase their R&D along with their newest and most innovative cheeses and cultured dairy products in short and sweet sessions. You will have an opportunity to see what they are working on and share your candid feedback. Then, you’ll move to the next table to sample and discuss another new product. During this session, you’ll have a chance to meet with several cheesemakers to provide your honest opinions and have a hand in helping to shape or refine the new products that are being developed. Our hope is that this event will encourage producers to step outside of their comfort zone, while simultaneously getting the industry excited about what’s coming next!

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Cheese as an Economic and Social Driver (General Interest)

    • Jean-Louis Carbonnier, Comté Cheese Association
    • David Gremmels, Rogue Creamery
    • Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
    • Moderator: Stephanie Skinner, Culture Magazine

    Cheese can be more than just a commodity.  It has the power to influence an entire community. This seminar will examine how cheese can help fuel and maintain the economic vibrancy and environment of a town, region, and even a country. From job creation, to environmental development and protection, to the preservation of cultural heritage, this seminar will discuss how cheese can create positive, lasting change outside of the dairy.

     

    Restaurants and Cheese: Expanding the Cheese Plate (General Interest)

    • Nicolas Farrell, Italco Food Products
    • Brian Keyser, Casellula
    • Cole Mathers, Restaurant Gary Danko
    • Moderator: Jane Bauer, American Cheese Society

    At last, cheese is stepping up to the plate…center plate, that is!  There is a burgeoning opportunity for cheese is in the restaurant industry, and now’s your chance to get in on the action! From cheese plates, to cheese as an ingredient, to the main event, cheese can be center stage (or center plate) at any restaurant. Opportunities abound for cheese pairings with beverage programs and out of the box pairings. This session provides innovative insights as well as the tried and true ways to help you promote cheese in your business.

     

    Teaching the Trade (General Interest)

    • Louella Hill, San Francisco Milk Maid
    • Ivan Larcher, SAS Larcher Consulting
    • Jim Wallace, New England Cheesemaking Supply

    From curious customers to aspiring cheese professionals, the market is full of inquisitive minds ready to soak up every morsel of cheesemaking knowledge available. Your experience can help bring to life the world of cheese. Join these three highly experienced instructors to learn how to fashion cheesemaking classes that are sure to educate and inspire your audience!

     

    Hot Topic! With a Twist (General Interest)

    • Dick Roe, Gourmet Foods International

    Come one, come all! “Hot Topic!” is back…with a twist! You’ll still have the ability to select and discuss the topics that are important to you. However, it will be with a larger audience consisting of professionals from all business areas within our cheese family. This is your opportunity to ask questions and receive 360 degree feedback from industry peers. We hope you’ll join us to help get the conversations started in this fun, interactive, attendee-led session.

     

    How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste (Tasting Session, Ticket Required)

    • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

    Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join sensory expert Russell Smith to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are!

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Open Networking: Food Safety at Retail

    • Facilitators: John Antonelli, Laura Downey, Meri Spicer, Sarah Spira

    Join this small group of retailers to discuss food safety practices at retail.

     

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

     

    Hops v. Malt: A Smackdown with Cheese (Tasting, Ticket Required)

    • Adam Dulye, Brewers Association
    • Janet Fletcher, Planet Cheese
    • Moderator: Veronica Pedraza

    Two brews go “mano a mano” in this tasting, competing for your vote. In the ring: a hoppy ale and a malt-focused brew. On the plate: American artisan cheeses. Guided by “Cheese & Beer” author Janet Fletcher and Adam Dulye, executive chef for the Brewers Association, you’ll learn to identify the cheese styles that respond better to hoppy beers and the types that clamor for malt. This fun and interactive exercise will help steer you toward the brews that complement the cheeses you make or sell.

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    The Neuroscientist, The Mystic, and the Cheesemaker — Employee Retention and Emotional Intelligence (General Interest)

    • Dr. Helen Scharfman, New York University
    • Paul Scharfman, Specialty Cheese Company, Inc.
    • Vicki Semo Scharfman, Specialty Cheese Company, Inc.

    It’s crazy to think these might be related, but, in fact, they are! Join us as we share the details of our successful program that was designed to improve employee retention. You’ll hear first-hand from the leaders of our cheese manufacturing plant whose biggest HR issue is finding and retaining employees in rural Wisconsin. To improve retention we developed a 24-module set of interactive classes designed to teach Social and Emotional Intelligence to our leads, supervisors, and managers. The bi-lingual curriculum is based in neuroscience and mystic spirituality but grounded in the cold reality of making fresh, clean cheese. Our results indicate that we are onto something!

     

    Got Gas? Gas Defects in Cheese with an Emphasis on Late Blowing (Cheesemaker)

    • Rebecca Hohlstein, CSK Food Enrichment
    • Gina Mode, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

    Ever wonder about the nuances of gas production? Looking for someone to turn to when Alka-Seltzer just won’t work? Look no further! Join these experts to learn about the defects caused by unwelcome gas production. You will get an in-depth look at the different types of defects, how to determine microbiological causes, and what to do about it. Take a deep dive into late blowing!

     

    Sales Decline as a Path to Greatness (General Interest)

    • Hunter Fike, Di Bruno Bros.

    Any company can be successful in an environment of minimal competition and increasing customer count. The challenge comes when you are faced with new competition, and inevitably, your customers will be attracted to that which is new. How do you maintain or improve profits as the going gets tough? Consider a dip in customer count as an opportunity to refocus on best practices, tighten your assortment, and reconsider how you visually merchandise your store. This session will teach you how to use this opportunity to bring customers back and make your business stronger than ever!

     

    Open Networking: Charcuterie

    Join this small group to meet fellow charcuterie producers, share stories, and network!

     

    ACS TOWN HALL
    2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

    • Nora Weiser, American Cheese Society
    • ACS Board of Directors

    Join ACS Executive Director, Nora Weiser and officers of the ACS Board of Directors for an open discussion about how ACS membership works, and how it can best be updated to reflect and serve our changing industry. Share your thoughts on how you view your membership, how you’d like to see ACS evolve, and to help guide us to a new vision for what ACS can be in the future.

     

    FRIDAY, JULY 28

    GENERAL SESSION: 360 DEGREES OF LEADERSHIP: STEERING AROUND THE ICEBERGS

    8:30 am – 9:30 am

    • Mary Kelly, Ph.D., Commander, U.S. Navy (ret), Productive Leaders

    Great leadership is an upside down pyramid. You, as the leader, are there to support the people working for you. Great leaders build effective teams and remind managers and leaders to communicate, develop employees, listen, and strategize for optimal results. The military asks employees to sleep at work, but your organization doesn’t expect your people to work for several weeks without a day off. Learn the secrets of leadership and motivation from a 21-year Navy veteran who lead multi-cultural teams all over the world in this thought-provoking, action-packed session. This program is designed for teambuilding, experienced managers, and senior management.

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS

    10:00 am – 11:30 am

     

    Building the Olive & Cheese Pairing Playground (Tasting, Ticket Required)

    • Glenn Hills, Columbia Cheese
    • Karrie Kimble, Philosophy Foods
    • Jonathan McDowell, The Aniata Cheese Company
    • David Yourd, Philosophy Foods

    Cheesemongers are often tasked with building an olive selection, but how much do you really know about this specialty food staple? Come explore the history and craft of table olives, and discover the commonalities and differences with cheese. We will discuss a framework for understanding olive texture and flavor as well as the methods for pairing them with cheese. Traditionalists be warned: the blue cheese & green olive combination will be put to the test!

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Good Cheese Gone Bad (Super Geek/Cheesemaker)

    • Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., Iowa State University
    • Pat Polowsky, University of Vermont
    • Dean Sommer, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

    Our goal in distribution and retail is to get the cheese into the mouths of the customers in the best possible condition. Additionally, if you enter the ACS Judging & Competition, you want your cheese to be received at its best. There are destructive practices within production, distribution, and retail that turn a great cheese into junk. Learn from these renowned experts what you can do to maintain the integrity of cheese through proper handling, storage, and shipping.

     

    Small Ruminant Deep Dive: Goats

    • Ryan Andrus, Cypress Grove Cheese
    • Luis Gama, University of Lisbon
    • Mariana Marques de Almeida, Ms. J and Co.

    One of the biggest challenges facing small ruminant dairies is lack of available genetics, genomic testing, and reproductive resources available for cows. The end result is that American goats are less productive than their European cousins.  This session aims to illustrate to American goat producers how to utilize genomic testing to identify quality genetics, make selective breeding choices, and improve the productivity of their herd – not just increase the size.

     

    Survivor’s Guide to the PC Rules (Cheesemaker)

    • Michael Kalish, Food Safety Guides
    • Charlie Kalish, Food Safety Guides

    This is a crash course in the Preventive Controls (PC) for Human Food Final Rule. The class includes a summary of newly published draft guidances, current enforcement news, behind-the-scenes FDA and state activities, and a clear account of how the supply-chain program requirements will affect farms, cheesemakers, distributors, and retailers. The PC for Animal Food will also be considered for Q&A.

     

    How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste (Tasting Session, Ticket Required)

    • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

    Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join this panel of sensory experts and cheesemakers to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are!

     

    Open Networking: Young Professionals

    Join this small group to meet fellow young professionals, share stories, and network!

     

    LUNCH & FDA UPDATE
    12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

    • Dr. William Jones, Food and Drug Administration

    Dr. William Jones, Deputy Director, Office of Food Safety at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will share an update on current food safety issues impacting or industry and a demonstration of FDA’s new Foods Safety Plan Builder designed to help small food producers meet FSMA document requirements.

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

     

    Far Out! Unconventional Cheese Pairings (tasting, Ticket Required)

    • Leigh Friend, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café
    • Kirsten Jackson, It’s Not You, It’s Brie
    • Tia Keenan, Author
    • Rachel Perez, Tony’s Fine Foods
    • Moderator: Emiliano Lee, Cheese & Sundry

    Whether by design or by complete accident, some of the most fun and exciting cheese pairings are found just outside the box… in some cases, quite a ways outside the box. From potato chips to fruity pebbles, we’ve seen some pretty creative combos. Join some of the experts who’ve pushed those flavor and texture boundaries to create unconventional pairings whether for home entertainment, self satisfaction, competition, or restaurant service as they discuss and present some of their unique finds.

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Demystifying the Complex World of Cheese Crystals (Super Geek/General Interest)

    • Paul S. Kindstedt, University of Vermont
    • Pat Polowsky, University of Vermont

    This session will examine the many types of crystals that form in ripened cheeses, the factors that cause them to form, and the various ways that crystals, both directly and indirectly, influence the visual, textural, and structural characteristics of ripened cheeses. This presentation will be technical in nature, centering on recent research findings from the University of Vermont. However, the content will be delivered in a very accessible format and the findings will be distilled down into practical applications that will be relevant to cheesemakers, cheesemongers, and academics alike.

     

    Small Ruminant Deep Dive: Sheep (Cheesemaker)

    • Luis Gama, University of Lisbon
    • Fernando Freire, Assafe Breeders Association
    • Miguel Rolo, Mission Cheese
    • Translator: Mariana Marques de Almeida, Ms. J and Co.

    One of the biggest challenges facing small ruminant dairies is lack of available genetics, genomic testing, and reproductive resources available for cows. The end result is that American sheep are less productive than their European cousins. This session aims to illustrate to American sheep producers how to utilize genomic testing to identify quality genetics, make selective breeding choices, and improve the productivity of their flock – not just increase the size.

     

    Beer, A Discussion about Menus, Relationships, Distribution, and Training (Cheesemaker)

    • Adam Dulye, Brewers Association

    Take a look at your menu. Is there room for improvement? Today’s operator often overlooks the hardest working staff member, the menu. Your menu is the first thing everyone sees and spends the longest time with. Are you successfully communicating your brand? Are you telling your story through your menu? Is your menu supported by in depth training and strong relationships to bring the best to your guest? In this seminar, dive deep into what it takes to have your menu increase your productivity and profitability. Find out what needs to happen behind the scenes to support the menu.

     

    The Speak Easy (General Interest)

    • Session Host/Moderator: Bob Wills, Cedar Grove Cheese

    In true speakeasy fashion, this out-of-the-way spot is a place for members to speak, mingle, and explore with fellow Conference-goers in an easy and laidback forum. This is a space where bawdy honesty, brash predictions, bold undertakings, passionate rants and raves, and revealed vulnerability and fears coalesce. Feel strongly about something? Come here to talk about it. Have a poem or song that you’ve recently written? Show up and share your passion. Are you known as an “expert” amongst your friends? Offer your expertise up to those in attendance. Join members in this creative space to Speak Easy and let your (moon)shine! Cash bar available.

     

     

     

    SATURDAY, JULY 29

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    9:00 am – 10:30 am

     

    I Got 99 Problems, But a Bicyclic Monoterpenoid Ain’t One (Tasting, Ticket Required)

    • Molly Browne, Vermont Creamery
    • Matthew Gill, THCheese

    Terpenes are a family of naturally occurring aroma compounds found in resinous plants, such as grasses, hops, citrus fruits, and cannabis. They also happen to play a role in the complex flavor development of many cheeses. Whereas the cannabis industry has studied terpenes extensively, less attention has been paid thus far in the cheese world. By tuning into the science and methods employed in terpene research by the canna-world, we stand to gain a deeper understanding of our own industry. Let these experts be your terpene tour guides as we explore the aromatic affinities between terpene laden cheeses and the foods and beverages that enhance them.

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Self Starter: Developing and Harnessing Your Own Microbes (General Interest)

    • Peter Dixon, Parish Hill Creamery
    • Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
    • Rachel Schaal, Parish Hill Creamery
    • Moderator: Thomas Perry, Shelburne Farms

    Acceptance of the idea of terroir has become more common in American cheesemaking. Join two Vermont cheesemakers to learn how they’re expressing qualities unique to their land and milk by harnessing microbes that are located close to home. Explore the current state of microbial affairs as it pertains to cheese and how Parish Hill Creamery and Jasper Hill Farm are taking different approaches to making and isolating cultures for their cheesemaking operations.

     

    Expand Your Brand with Yogurt (General Interest)

    • Dave Potter, Dairy Connection, Inc.

    Yogurt has demonstrated significant growth and popularity with U.S. consumers over the past decade. A growing number of farmstead and smaller dairy processors are now finding success in this market category. In this presentation, learn about the science and processing techniques of yogurt types in a concise but thorough overview.

     

    The Evolution of Artisan Cheese in America (Retailer/Distributor)

    • Allison Hooper, Vermont Creamery
    • Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove Cheese
    • Judith Schad, Capriole
    • Moderator: Rachel Perez, Tony’s Fine Foods

    This talented triumvirate started making artisan goat cheeses in the United States over 30 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the cheese business in general and each of their businesses has changed dramatically. In this session, we will explore the evolution of the artisan cheese business through the eyes of these early pioneers: from production to logistics to marketing and beyond. How have these industry icons created successful brands and businesses that evolved from small niche production to brands that we now find nationwide?

     

    How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste (Tasting Session, Ticket Required)

    • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

    Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join sensory expert Russel Smith to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are!

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    12:15 pm – 1:45 pm

     

    e-Commerce and the Cheese Shop: Where Artisanal Meets Digital (General Interest)

    • Elizabeth Chubbuck, Murray’s Cheese
    • Louise Converse, Artisan Cheese Company
    • Mo Frechette, Zingerman’s Mail Order
    • Carolyn Stromberg, Righteous Cheese

    With web and mobile app technological advances happening faster than we ever imagined, it’s a given that eCommerce is the future of most retail sales in America. So how does a thriving brick-and-mortar cheese and specialty foods shop best initiate and grow its online sales presence and successfully integrate eCommerce into its offerings? In this session, learn from a range of industry experts – from large, titans of gourmet eCommerce to small, independent cheese shop owners – to keep your artisan shop growing in the digital age. We’ll discuss details such as website management; online selection, pricing, and margins; getting the word out; operations and fulfillment; common pitfalls; and overall best practices. Learn if eCommerce is right for your business and gather the knowledge to design a strategy for success.

     

    Tools to Improve Cheese Consistency & Troubleshooting (Retailer/Distributor)

    • Kerry E. Kaylegian, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
    • Lisa Caprera, Pennsylvania State University

    Inherent variations in milk composition, processing, and environmental conditions in cheesemaking can lead to inconsistent and poor quality cheese. The USDA NE SARE program funded a research project at Penn State to develop tools and procedures for farmstead and small-scale cheesemakers to improve the consistency of their cheese and to make these tools freely available. Guidelines, document templates, and spreadsheet templates were developed to assess cheese for measurable sensory and compositional factors, routine monitoring of key parameters in the cheesemaking process, and for evaluating the data to improve cheese consistency. The first part of this session will discuss the lessons learned during the research and development of these tools. The second part of this session will be a demonstration of how to assess a cheese and the cheesemaking process for measurable parameters, set up a sensory evaluation program, routinely monitor important cheesemaking parameters and cheese composition, how to use this data to improve cheese consistency, and how to troubleshoot cheese problems.

     

    Grassfed Dairy: a Simple Notion That Has Become Increasingly Complex (General Interest)

    • Ann Colona, Food Innovation Center, Oregon State University
    • Tim Joseph, Maple Hill Dairy
    • Bill Stephenson, DPI Specialty Foods

    What exactly is grass? When is “a cow” not just a cow? How have things reached a point that we’re driven to ask such seemingly simple questions and what is in the consumer’s mind when they see “grassfed” marketing slogans associated with cheese? Denver’s history and that of much of the western United States is irrevocably linked to the grassy plains that have long sustained ruminant animals in support of its burgeoning population. This session will explore what it means to be grassfed through the various lenses of the dairy industry (past and present), certifying bodies, and the consumer.

     

    American Affineurs (General Interest)

    • Benton Brown, Crown Finish Caves, LLC
    • Vince Razionale, Grafton Village Cheese Company
    • David Rogers, LaClare Farms
    • Moderator: Eric Meredith, Neal’s Yard Dairy

    Regional affinage, well established in European cheesemaking, is starting to grow in popularity on this side of the Atlantic. Yet, many American cheesemakers know little about what a partnership with an affineur can do for their business, let alone what to expect from the process of a joint partnership.  Join this panel of esteemed American affineurs to better understand this trend, its opportunities and challenges, and the options that are available for cheesemakers looking to partner with an affineur.

     

    DZTA Session – Heritage Dairy Breeds in Traditional and Modern Cheesemaking (Cheesemaker)

    • Sam Frank

    Join Sam Frank, the 2016 Daphne Zepos Teaching Award recipient, in exploring heritage dairy breed animals and their use in cheesemaking. Sam will share his experiences from his travels in Europe and his discoveries regarding various breeds and their utilization in the production of Old World and New World cheeses in Europe and the US.

     

    Open Networking: Social Media Bloggers

    Join this small group to meet fellow social media bloggers, share stories, and network!

     

     

    CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

     

    Enjoying Cheese with Chocolate and Beer (Tasting, Ticket Required)

    • Kevin Crompton, Epic Brewing Co.
    • Adam Dick, Dick Taylor Chocolate
    • Andy Fitzgerrell, KeHE Distributors

    The enjoyment of cheese with chocolate is often foreign territory for the customer base of many cheese counters. Even less explored is the pairing of chocolate with beer. Together, we’ll delve into the pairing of both chocolate and beer with a variety of cheeses. We will stitch these seemingly disparate delights together to create a trifecta of deliciousness which will expand your pairing intuition and elevate your cheese board potential to new heights!

    Ticket required; space is limited.

     

    Obsalim: How the Animals Tell You About Their Nutrition (General Interest)

    • Edward De Beukelaer, Obsalim

    Obsalim is the brainchild of a French veterinarian named Bruno Giboudeau. Little by little, he discovered that by observing changes in animal behavior one can know exactly what is happening in the rumen. Years of trails have grown into an extremely reliable technique that puts the ruminants at the center of running your farm. The application of the technique will allow you to fine tune the management and feeding of your animals for optimal transformation of their ration (roughage) leading to a reduction in disease, improvement in economy, and better control over cheese production. Learning Obsalim is like learning to understand the language of the rumen. The technique has become very popular in France and is gaining interest from the scientific community all over the world. Session attendees will be introduced to the Obsalim method and its extraordinary benefits through an exercise which will identify key factors in herd rumen health and provide insights into proper corrective measures.

     

    Pay to Stay: Attracting and Retaining Cheesemongers for Independent Retailers (General Interest)

    • Sascha Anderson, Cheesemongers of Santa Fe
    • Laura Downey, Fairfield Cheese Company
    • Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Coop
    • Emiliano Lee, Cheese & Sundry

    Attracting, hiring, and retaining passionate, hardworking talent can be a challenge for retailers with limited resources. Once you’ve found that ideal person with good service skills, a passion for cheese, and a great work ethic, how do you keep and grow them? Many factors come into play in the staffing lifecycle, and one that is beyond a business owner’s control is that employees may decide to leave one counter for another, or simply leave the cheese business altogether. In some cases, a lack of a “living wage” is also a reality that business owners and employees must face. Join this dynamic panel to discuss their philosophies on staffing, the unique struggles of the industry, and how to creatively compete in our growing market to help ease these challenges.

     

    Trends in Micro-Brewing Predicting Trends in Artisan Cheese (General Interest)

    • Jeff Jirik, Caves of Faribault / Prairie Farms
    • Greg O’Neill, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
    • Jason Sobocinski, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro / Black Hog Brewing Co.
    • Moderator: Greg Hardin, Gourmet Foods International

    Beer and cheese are often seen together at parties, at tastings, and in retail displays. The histories of these two fermented foods are also closely entwined with their effects on culture and civilization. While these points may be commonly accepted in the cheese and beer communities, how do the two industries coincide today in the United States? Where beer goes, does cheese follow? What does a healthy micro-brew industry mean for the local cheese industry? Taking a look at some sample communities and data from the last few decades, we can see many parallels between the two industries. So with that information, can we make market predictions for cheese based on trends in micro-brewing?