Educational Sessions

Forged in Cheese Educational Sessions*

*Please note that this program is subject to change

Session Location
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions and events will take place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Where “Westin” is indicated, this refers to the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh, located at 1000 Penn Avenue, directly connected to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Session Numbers
Concurrent sessions are numbered so you can easily cross reference the Conference Schedule-At-A-Glance.

 Session Seating
All sessions, with the exception of tasting sessions, will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis at the door. 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. All tasting sessions require a ticket, distributed on-site, for admission. Tickets will be available outside of the session room 30 minutes prior to the session start time. Limit one ticket per person. Doors will close at the start of the session and late entry will not be permitted.

THURSDAY, JULY 26

OPENING KEYNOTE: 8:45 am – 9:45 am

 IGNITE YOUR GOALS: SIMPLE STEPS TO ACCOMPLISH MORE AND ACCELERATE YOUR SUCCESS
Gerry O’Brion, What Big Brands Know

What do you want for your business? For your life? The most successful people don’t leave accomplishment to chance. Learn simple steps to achieve more in your business and in your life. Gerry O’Brion is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and marketing expert who helps companies thrive in good times and bad.

This fun, engaging, interactive session will have you immediately implementing the ideas you learn. No more just sitting and listening. You’ll be up out of your chairs in a completely participative experience. This session gets you fully immersed in your goals and moves you down the path of accomplishment and generating action and commitment right here, right now. You’ll walk out of this session with new tools and a new commitment to do those things that will move your life and career to the next level.

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 10:15 am – 11:45 am

#1 – CHEESE EVALUATION AND THE ACS LEXICON & GLOSSARY: AN INTRODUCTION 

Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., Iowa State University
Craig Gile, ACS CCP®, Cabot Cheese
Vince Razionale, Grafton Village Cheese
Bill Rufenacht, Dairy Connection, Inc.
Moderator: Sarah Spira, American Cheese Society

Assessing, grading, judging, evaluating, marketing, and socializing with cheese, and the varying contexts in which these activities happen, require different types of terminology. The ACS Cheese and Dairy Product Lexicon and Glossary (ACS Lexicon & Glossary) aims to facilitate conversations across the cheese supply chain by creating a credible, modern resource that provides a greater understanding of the myriad ways in which cheese is discussed and described. In this interactive session, cheese industry members will learn more about how to use the Lexicon to talk about sensory characteristics of cheese and dairy products, and how to apply them to encourage the production, sale, and consumption of high-quality artisan and specialty cheeses.

#2 – AFFINAGE—UNDER THE MICROSCOPE 

Panos Lekkas, Cellars at Jasper Hill
Eric Meredith, Neal’s Yard Dairy
Benjamin Wolfe, Tufts University

If you wonder what you can do to impact the quality of your cheese after it’s made, you’ll want to come to this session. The presenters will knit together how what we can see impacts all of the microbial activity we can’t see. Most aspects of cheesemaking will be touched upon, with a specific focus on affinage and food safety of surfaced-ripened cheese after the cheese has been made and arrives in your caves. Case studies will be cited to illustrate how to use the scientific method to find the root cause of common microbial issues in cheese.

#3 – THE RIGHT CUT!

Waldemar Albrecht, Cheese Plus
Steve Jones, Cheese Bar
Carlos Souffront, Tony’s Fine Foods

Let these old-school retail cheese veterans walk you through the breakdown of cutting cheese for retail sales. The session will cover large format styles (Parmesan, Gruyère, Emmentaler), small soft cheese, and hard-to-handle cheese (think runny, messy, and odd shapes, such as squares and balls). You’ll gain pro tips and tricks that will save you time and money, yet will leave you with beautiful cuts. This will be a hands-on workshop.

#4 – VARYING PERSPECTIVES ACROSS THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Zoe Brickley, ACS CCP®, Jasper Hill Farm
Debra Dickerson, Tomales Bay Foods
Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative
Moderator: Rachel Perez, ACS CCP®, Tony’s Fine Foods

Whether you work as a cheesemaker, distributor, or retailer, we all encounter similar problems across the supply chain. However, we deal with these problems in different ways. From receiving practices, to dealing with less-than-perfect product, to hiring and staff expectations, our perspectives and end-goals influence our actions. This panel will unpack some of these circumstances and explore how each part of the supply chain engages, acts, and reacts to specific circumstances. You’ll leave with a wider perspective on the cheese industry. 

#5 – TURNING VISIONARY IDEAS INTO GAME-CHANGING BUSINESS MODELS

 Annette Kendall, University of Missouri

In this interactive session, participants will learn about the importance of the entrepreneurial ‘team’ for transforming visionary ideas into game-changing business models. In essence, businesses have three main areas that require different skills and are each better suited to certain people based on individual personalities, interests, and strengths. Participants will have the opportunity to learn which area their strengths might be in. We will also work through a simple, relevant, and intuitively understandable approach to showing the logic of how to turn your vision and innovative ideas into a business model that makes money.

#6 – HOW SWEET ARE YOU? THE SCIENCE OF TASTE (Ticket required; SOLD OUT)

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! 

#7 – OPEN NETWORKING: HOW TO TALK TO CONSUMERS ABOUT THE VALUE OF CHEESE

Moderator: Elizabeth Nerud, ACS CCP®, Kowalski’s Markets

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

#8 – CELEBRATING A FERMENTATION RENAISSANCE (Tasting)

Bill Covaleski, Victory Brewing
Ari Miller, 1732 Meats
Rory Stamp, ACS CCP®
Moderator: Jeff Roberts, Cow Creek Creative Ventures

This tasting brings together a small, curated collection of American-made preserved meats paired with Pennsylvania artisan cheeses and craft beers. Fermented products, beer, bread, cheese, preserved meats, and wine share many characteristics—but how do we offer suggestions to plan an appetizer plate or great menu while incorporating many diverse aromas, flavors, and textures? In addition, as American charcuterie and salumi producers experiment constantly with different textures, spices, and herbs, how can we offer guidance to our customers? First come, first served; space is limited. 

#9 – A REVIEW OF THE NON-CHEESE SENSORY LANDSCAPE

Craig Gile, ACS CCP®, Cabot Creamery
Vince Razionale, Grafton Village Cheese

Within the cheese industry, the popular appeal of sensory analysis has been growing dramatically in the last few years—spider graphs and flavor profiles are fast becoming a part of the everyday lexicon. What are the trends in other industries when it comes to product evaluation, and what can we learn from this ever-evolving landscape? Join a team of sensory professionals as they provide an overview of others’ sensory standards—looking to products such as coffee, spirits, meat, chocolate, and more!

#10 – WHAT DOES EXCEL HAVE TO DO WITH A CHEESE CASE? THE ROLE OF THE SALES MANAGER IN THE SPECIALTY CHEESE WORLD

Rebekah Baker, ACS CCP®, Tony’s Fine Foods
Liza Kaplansky, Consider Bardwell Farms
Chris Munsey, ACS CCP®, Vermont Creamery

The life of a specialty cheese sales manager is not just about spreadsheets…but knowing your way around a pivot table certainly doesn’t hurt! From long hours on the road, to hot kitchens with demanding chefs, to slicing up samples for a trade show, the work of sales managers is anything but monotonous—but it can certainly be baffling to those new to the role. Join our panel of sales managers (both producer and distributor sales managers will be represented) for a lively discussion on the many roles and responsibilities of the specialty cheese sales manager and how the industry as a whole would benefit from a common body of specialty cheese sales knowledge. 

#11 – HOT TOPIC!
Moderator: Dick Roe, former ACS President

Join professionals from all business areas within our cheese family to ask questions and receive 360° feedback from your peers. We hope you’ll join in to help get the conversations started in this fun, interactive, attendee-driven session.

#12 – OPEN NETWORKING: CHEESEMAKER FEEDBACK ON THE ACS JUDGING & COMPETITION*

Come provide feedback to the ACS Judging & Competition Committee Chair and Vice Chair, Stephanie Clark and Rich Rogers, on what works well and what can be improved on the ACS Judging & Competition score sheets.

#13 – ACS TOWN HALLSponsored by the Specialty Food Association

Nora Weiser, ACS Executive Director
Officers of the 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 can continue to serve the growing and changing cheese industry. With an eye towards its core membership of cheesemakers, ACS is working to find more economical ways to run its Annual Judging & Competition and Annual Conference with a focus on lowering costs for producers, allowing broader participation, reducing waste, and ensuring that cheeses are always handled and presented in the best light.

FRIDAY, JULY 27 

General Session: 8:30-9:30 am

Save by Savoring: How to Sustain the Diverse Foods and Flavors We Love

In this overview of agricultural biodiversity, author and Institute for Food and Development Policy fellow Simran Sethi will explain the challenges around the loss of agricultural biodiversity and highlight how cheese and dairying can lead the way in building a more resilient food system by creating an appetite for diversity in ways that other foods can’t—from microbe to milk, and soil to seed.

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 10:00 am – 11:30 am

#14 – OLD AND NEW FRONTIERS IN BANDAGED CHEDDAR (Tasting) 

Vince Razionale, Grafton Village Cheese

Join Vince Razionale, the 2017 Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DTZA) recipient, as he dives deep into the world of bandaged cheddars from the UK. After two visits to the UK over the past year, and having tasted many batches with key producers, Vince will present a reference batch of several cheeses of this style, along with an overview of the history, politics, and future challenges for this key style of cheese. First come, first served; space is limited.

#15 – THE FIGHT FOR DIVERSITY IN FOOD

Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative
Bronwen Percival, Neal’s Yard Dairy
Francis Percival, The World of Fine Wine
Simran Sethi, Journalist & Educator

For more than a century, cheese, like almost every food, moved, seemingly inevitably, from the farm to the factory. However, a resurgence of traditional cheesemakers—and groups like ACS—have helped create consumer desire and economic opportunity for people wanting to eat and make styles of cheese that might otherwise have gone extinct. What is the value in preserving traditional food? What opportunity does it create in preserving community and rural lifestyles? What can we do to fight for diversity in food? 

#16 – PRODUCING SHEEP AND GOAT MILK YEAR-ROUND: WHEN BIG CHALLENGES CALL FOR EASY SOLUTIONS

Ryan Andrus, Cypress Grove
Mariana Marques de Almeida, Ms. J and Co.
Veronica Pedraza, ACS CCP®, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

This session will focus on the physiological characteristics of sheep and goat reproduction, highlighting the limits these species present regarding milk production on a yearly basis, as well as what solutions are available to help overcome these limits. Gain a technical understanding of reproductive management (why can’t sheep and goat be bred every month of the year?), learn about reproduction methods—both artificial and natural—to get around these difficulties, and hear from a farmer regarding the experience of using these methods to produce milk year-round. Then, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using both seasonal and out-of-season milk in the cheesemaking process.

#17 – AN OPTIMISTIC GUIDE TO FAILURE

Wendy Mitchell, Avalanche Cheese
Rueben Nilsson, Caves of Faribault

An independent cheesemaker needs to be an expert in finances and accounting, construction, equipment design, quality assurance, packaging, and shipping and logistics. All this is in addition to crafting an exceptional piece of cheese! Mistakes will happen, and we must always adapt and move forward. We will examine a few of the challenges faced in each of these areas during the life-cycle of a start-up cheese company.

#18 – SPECIALTY CHEESE SALES BEYOND BRICK AND MORTAR 

Ken Blanchette, FreshDirect
Adeline Druart, Vermont Creamery
Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm/The Cellars at Jasper Hill
Liz Thorpe, The People’s Cheese
Moderator: Ilana Fischer, Schuman Cheese

In the past 3 years, there has been a proliferation of sales channels for specialty cheesemakers that look and function very differently from independent specialty retailers and traditional grocery stores. Many of these new channels are exclusively digital, while others rely on club or subscription models. This panel will feature four industry leaders discussing these new sales channels: what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what cheesemakers need to know to successfully diversify go-to-market strategies beyond traditional brick and mortar customers.

#19 – HOW SWEET ARE YOU? THE SCIENCE OF TASTE (Ticket required; SOLD OUT)

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!

#20 – OPEN NETWORKING: REGIONALITY & SEASONALITY OF CHEESE IN THE U.S.

Moderator: Joe Salonia, Gourmino

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

#21 – DRINK THE APPLES – EAT THE CHEESE!
Rachel Freier, ACS CCP®, The Cheese Course
Sue Miller, Birchrun Hills Farm
Ben Wenk, Ploughman Cider & Three Springs Fruit Farm

This session embraces the tradition of fermented foods, exploring the history and placement of the fermented apple by touching on the culture of English cider, Spanish cider, French cider, and America’s cider renaissance. Pennsylvania is experiencing a simultaneous rebirth in crafting ciders and crafting farmstead and artisan cheese. This session will guide you through an overview of cider styles paired with different cheeses from Pennsylvania makers. You’ll be challenged to consider how this renaissance will affect the stewardship of land, whether it’s simply a trend or if it’s here to stay, and to think about whether cider is a beer or a wine—plus tips for selling cider (with cheese, of course!). You might even sample a cider-washed cheese! First come, first served; space is limited.

#22 – LARGE FARMS CAN HAVE QUALITY MILK, HEALTHY ANIMALS, AND COW COMFORT

Kim Bremmer, AG Inspirations
George Crave, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese
Brian Fiscalini, Fiscalini Cheese
Moderator: Kari Skibbie, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Family farms care about their cows, so they utilize science and technology to benefit and improve the welfare of their livestock. They also want to ensure their farms are sustainable for the next generation. Come learn how this panel of family farmers uses technology and new practices to improve the lives of their cows, which in turn influences the quality of milk that contributes to award-winning cheeses. The goal is to affect the health and happiness of cows no matter across the country. Come join in the conversation and have your questions answered.

#23 – FOOD SAFETY THROUGH THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Matt Benham, Arethusa Farm & Dairy
Jess Perrie, ACS CCP®, Essex Street Cheese
Andrew Torrens, Eataly

With food safety being on the tip of everyone’s tongue and the roll-out of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) well underway, it is important that everyone across the supply chain is on the same page. This talk will address strategies implemented at the producer, retailer, and importer level to address both FSMA-generated regulations and internal food safety standards. At the producer level, learn about the pros and cons of doing a third party audit and FSMA compliance for cheesemakers of every scale. At the importer level, you’ll hear about the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) and some of the associated challenges. At the retailer level, you’ll learn how to create a flexible supplier approval program and which documents and/or procedures you should request from your producers and distributors. The session highlights the need for open dialogue across the supply chain to ensure valid, sensible, consistently implementable food safety solutions.

#24 – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR: PLANNING FOR SUCCESS AND SUCCESSION 

Pat Ford, Beehive Cheese
Andy Hatch, Uplands Cheese
Allison Hooper, Vermont Creamery
Jeremy Stephenson, Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids

ACS members have worked tirelessly for decades to create a vibrant and promising food category for cheese, dairy, and agriculture. In the natural course of things, it is inevitable that some of our members are now considering retirement and contemplating how their businesses will carry on without them at the helm. With this in mind, it is never too early to plan for ownership and/or role transition. Hear how ACS members are thinking about a transition strategy for their businesses and what goes into planning for this, and get some tips about what you can do today to create the outcome you want and deserve in the future. Panelists will share their stories and discuss their existing plans, plans they have been part of, and how they might have done things differently (if at all), knowing what they know today. Topics include how to build capacity in your organization to take it to the next level, how to value a business, how to go to market, and how to select an adviser, buyer, successor, or successor.

#25 – OPEN NETWORKING: OFFICIAL CONFERENCE CHEESEMONGERS

Moderator: Janee’ Muha, ACS CCP®, Quince & Apple | Treat

SATURDAY, JULY 28 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 9:00 am – 10:30 am

#26 – THE CORNERSTONE PROJECT: AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL (Tasting)

Peter Dixon, Parish Hill Creamery
Rachel Fritz-Schaal, Parish Hill Creamery
Mark Gillman, Cato Corner Farm
Sue Miller, Birchrun Hills Farm

Four cheesemakers made the same cheese…or did they? What happens when four cheesemakers follow one recipe, each using their own native cultures, the same forms, and encouraging wild rinds? In response to the ACS Judging & Competition Committee’s call for American Original cheeses, these panelists hatched a plan to develop an approach to cheesemaking that demonstrates the elemental nature of the raw milk. By limiting the input variables, they allowed the raw milk to determine the nuances of texture and flavor unique to each of their Cornerstones. First come, first served; space is limited. 

#27 – CREATING (AND MAINTAINING) BUZZ FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Kendall Antonelli, ACS CCP®, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
Janet Fletcher, Planet Cheese
Allison Hooper, Vermont Creamery
Rebecca Haley-Park, Culture Magazine

Ever wonder why some businesses seem to get all the buzz, press mentions, awards, and likes—especially when it feels like you’re doing similar things? Getting good press is only half the battle. Continuing to be relevant in the news is more challenging. Find out what a retailer and cheesemaker have done to garner attention for their businesses and hear from a food writer and magazine owner about what they look for in a good story.

#28 – FROM TERROIR TO CHEESE: HOW TO SELECT UNIQUE FLAVORS

Christophe Megevand, Schuman Cheese
Julien Rouillaud, Ecole Nationale d’Industrie Laitière (ENIL)

Where do the flavors in your cheese come from? How can environmental conditions impact animals, and thus the flora of raw milk and the flavor of the cheese produced? What is the importance of the milk preparation to controlling the flora? Come listen to Julien Rouillaud, cheesemaker and professor at the Ecole Nationale d’Industrie Laitière (ENIL) of Poligny/Mamirolles to get a deep understanding of the importance of the very first steps of cheesemaking.

#29 – OBSALIM FOR BETTER RUMINANT FEEDING 

Bruno Giboudeau, Accordan

Obsalim is the brainchild of French veterinarian Bruno Giboudeau. Little by little, he discovered that by observing small signs from the animals and changes in their behavior, one can know exactly what is happening in the rumen. Years of trials 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 around the world. Session attendees will be introduced to the Obsalim method and its benefits through an exercise which will identify key factors in herd rumen health and provide insights into proper corrective measures.

#30 – HOW SWEET ARE YOU? THE SCIENCE OF TASTE (Ticket required; SOLD OUT)

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! 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm

#31 – CLOSING THE VALIDATION GAP FOR RAW MILK PRODUCERS UNDER PCHF

Kathy Glass, University of Wisconsin
Jeremy Stephenson, Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids
Robert Wills, Cedar Grove Cheese

Preventive Controls under FSMA require processors to validate that their procedures result in safe cheese. For some varieties or processes, validation may involve gathering existing scientific evidence that pathogens will die, or at least not grow, before use by consumers. For many cheese varieties, no scientific evidence exists that proves the manufacturing process will reduce risk to an acceptable level. In those cases, challenge studies—perhaps involving non-pathogenic varieties of microorganisms—may demonstrate that a series of steps provides effective protection. Coordination of research among cheesemakers and academics may reduce the cost of validation for the industry.

 #32 – TRANSHUMANCE 101

Caroline Hostettler, Quality Cheese

Alpage cheeses are widely popular, but most people (even within the cheese community) do not have a thorough understanding of transhumance, the tradition thanks to which we are able to enjoy Alpage cheeses. This session will explain how the movement of humans and animals to different altitudes in accordance with the seasons works in Switzerland, where transhumance originated more than 8,000 years ago, and is still alive today. Learn about the various structural forms of Alps, and the many tasks transhumance fulfills both for nature and society. After attending this seminar, you will know why and how Alpage cheeses may offer unique health benefits, and you will be able to distinguish Alpages from so called Alpine or Alpine-style products.

 #33 – DEVELOPING & COMMUNICATING WITH NEW OR SEASONED RETAIL STAFF

Sunshine Goodman, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

That new staff member you just hired needs to get trained! Great—you have the first 90 days down, so now what? What should you do after 90 days? Or a year? What about three years? In this session, not only will you get several tools to help develop your new or seasoned staff, but you will also learn how to continue their development to ensure they are impacting all of your business drivers, while also ensuring that you are invested in them. You will also learn what you need to do to find the time to manage your talent.

#34 – DESIGN METHODOLOGY FOR THE CHEESE PROFESSIONAL

Sophie Slesinger
LinYee Yuan, MOLD Magazine

Do you feel frustrated when technology companies invent solutions for food problems that miss the mark? Food issues, food systems change solutions, and specialty food products are increasingly featured in the start-up world. Cheese professionals, or “subject matter experts,” (as referred to in the start-up world) can be an important part of technology and food design work. This session explains how food industry professionals can use design thinking methodology in their own businesses or to diversify their professional portfolios. UX (User Experience) design, prototyping, model-making, and design research is not just for tech companies!

#35 – DEEP DIVE: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO PREVENTING CHEESE DEFECTS (This 3-hour session ends at 3:15 pm – please note the extended length)

Andy Johnson, Center for Dairy Research, UW-Madison
Gina Mode, Center for Dairy Research, UW-Madison
Dean Sommer, Center for Dairy Research, UW-Madison

Learn to craft a high-quality cheese free from defects in this hands-on session that includes sensory elements. From microbial management to salting, participants will explore what factors cause defects, how defects can be prevented, and what to do if you have one. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind session that includes a full overview of the issues from the experts at CDR.

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: 2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

#36 – CHEESE PAIRINGS FROM THE FAR EAST 

Kevin Corcoran, ACS CCP®, World’s Best Cheeses
Liza Kaplansky, Consider Bardwell Farm
Rachel Perez, ACS CCP®, Tony’s Fine Foods
Jesse Pugach, J Slade Consulting

Although cheese has not historically been a common ingredient in East Asian cooking, cheese is gaining increasing popularity in the region. With traditional flavors that range from clean and crisp to deep umami, we will explore how ingredients from the Far East (China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea) pair with various cheeses. Pairings will include Far East ingredients including: Sake, Green Tea, Kimchi, Nori, Umeboshi. First come, first served; space is limited.

#37 – HOW ACTIVELY BUILDING HOPE CAN CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS

Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s Delicatessen

The idea of hope is hardly new—almost every one of us uses the word hope nearly every day. It comes up in conversation, in informal discussion, and in bits of casual daydreaming. But it turns out that hope isn’t just something to have casually in-hand as we pass through our days—it’s a critical contributor to the way your organization and your life operate. Hope, studies are showing, correlates with better work performance, better health, and better scholastic and athletic performance. In our world, it can mean better cheese quality, better work performance, and better energy. Working without hope, on the other hand, leads to despair and disengagement. The good news is that we can mindfully work to cultivate hope within our organizations. In this session, Ari will share his newly emerging thinking on the role that hope can—and does—have in the workplace. He will also share concrete tips on how to both avoid the negative impact we can create when we inadvertently dash the hopes of our coworkers, and conversely, look at concrete and practical ways in which we can work to actively cultivate hope. The costs of building hope are very low; the benefits are huge. We hope you can make it.

#38 – CONSERVATION FOR HERITAGE BREEDS IN NORTH AMERICA

Jeannette Beranger, The Livestock Conservancy
Sarah Bowley, SVF Foundation
Mario Duchesne, Association de mise en valeur des bovins de race Canadienne dans Charlevoix (AVRBC)
Bronwen Percival, Neal’s Yard Dairy
Moderator: Sam Frank, Jumi, Inc.

We are living in a time of unprecedented resource depletion and biodiversity loss, which is largely due to conventional agricultural practices. This panel features organizations in North America that are doing real work to preserve our heritage breeds, all of which are on the brink of extinction. First, you’ll hear from the Livestock Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works with farmers, chefs, historians, consumers, and others around the nation to protect over 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. Next, the SVF Foundation, which preserves germplasm (semen and embryos) from rare and endangered breeds of food and fiber livestock through cryopreservation in collaboration with Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Finally, we will hear about the work of the Association de mise en valeur des bovins de race canadienne dans Charlevoix (the Canadienne Cow Development Association), which brings together academics, dairy farmers, and cheesemakers in Québec to effectively preserve the Canadienne, one of North America’s very few native dairy breeds. Learn why it’s important for the American cheese industry to take part in this conservation effort and how you can get involved!

#39 – GOOD FOOD FROM CLOSE BY 

Samantha Kane, ACS CCP® Glen’s Garden Market
Danielle Vogel, Glen’s Garden Market

In Washington, DC, Glen’s Garden Market was created with one idea in mind: to make climate change progress—one bite at a time—by serving Good Food from close by and growing relationships with partners who treat their land, animals, and ingredients with respect. Every decision the owners make for their business is made with the environment in mind. That includes, most impactfully, sourcing products almost entirely from surrounding states. It also includes everything from building and packaging materials, to equipment used, to purchasing wind power credits to offset energy consumption. It includes a no-waste mandate, composting and recycling programs, and actively encouraging environmentally responsible eating and transportation. Learn more about this business model and see how you might apply similar principles to your own business.