Membership FAQs

What’s the distinction between being an INDIVIDUAL and an ORGANIZATIONAL member of ACS?

Individual Membership is designed for industry professionals who seek educational opportunities, networking, online resources, and professional development opportunities for personal growth and career advancement. An Individual Membership is solely and exclusively for the member named, and is non-transferable. Individual Members do not have access to the following benefits that are exclusively for Organizations:

Organizational Membership is for companies that wish to provide their owners, management, staff, and employees access to education, networking, and professional development, and that wish to promote their business, products, and/or services. As an Organizational Member, you can select the level that reflects the number of employees you’d like to receive benefits, from one person to unlimited representatives! Organizational Members may transfer benefits to different people, should employees at the company change. Learn more about ACS Membership Levels and Benefits. 

What if I’d like more than 5 people to take advantage of ACS membership benefits?

If you’d like more than 5 representatives from your company to receive membership benefits, additional membership options exist at the Corporate PLUS and Corporate SUSTAINING levels. 

What time of year should I join ACS?

As soon as possible! ACS memberships run on a calendar year (January 1 – December 31) and are not prorated according to when you join. If it’s late in the year and you’d rather join for the following year, please contact the ACS Management Team to learn how to do that.

How much are annual dues?

Annual dues are based on your membership level.

I am just starting a creamery and don’t yet have products eligible for the ACS Judging & Competition – can I join as an Individual Member?

YES. If you are a creamery-in-planning or in start-up mode, feel free to join as an Individual Member. Once you are up and running and want to enter our Annual ACS Judging & Competition or sample your products at Meet the Cheesemaker, you can move to an Organizational Membership at any time.

I’m currently an Individual Member but I’d like to enter my product(s) into the ACS Judging & Competition – do I need to become an Organizational Member?

YES. You’ll need to become a member at the Small Business 1 level and complete the necessary information when you renew this year. This will ensure that you are ready to go when our entry period opens this spring, and will streamline your entry process.

I’d love to offer access to ACS’s valuable online educational tools and resources as an employee benefit to my company’s 200 team members. Is that possible?

YES. With a Corporate SUSTAINING Membership, one flat annual dues rate of $3,000 allows you to name a Primary Member who holds your company’s voting power, plus four additional Members, and an unlimited number of company representatives who will receive full access to all ACS products, services, benefits, and discounts. It’s an affordable way for you to attract and retain your employees while keeping them informed and educated on what’s happening in the industry.

I’m currently a Corporate Member with five employees receiving benefits. At Conference time, I like to send 7 or 8 staff members to attend. At what level will I need to renew so that all of these employees receive discounted member pricing on Conference registration?

You’ll want to join at our Corporate PLUS level. This allows for a Primary Member who holds your company’s voting power, plus four additional Members, and discounted member pricing for an unlimited number of your employees to attend our Annual Conference.

I’m an educator/academic, where do I fit?

If you work in any capacity other than producing cheese or cultured dairy products, you should join as a Trade Affiliate. This category is very broad and encompasses all industry professionals other than Producers. Based on how you use your ACS benefits, you might join as an Individual, or your university, school, or company might join as an Organization.

I love cheese but don’t work in the cheese industry. Can I join ACS?

YES. You’ll want to join in our Associate (Non-Professional) category as an Enthusiast member. If you’re a student, you can even submit your valid student ID for discounted Student member pricing!

I would like to purchase an ACS membership as a gift for someone. Do you offer gift memberships?

YES. Please contact the ACS Management Team to determine the right membership level for your gift recipient.

Are the annual membership dues based on the calendar year or on time of joining/renewing?

ACS’s membership dues are based on the calendar year and run from January 1 through December 31 annually. In order to take advantage of a full calendar year of benefits without any break in service, we encourage you to renew your ACS membership as soon as you receive your renewal notice.

I have more questions!

To learn more and see examples of how your particular needs can be met, please contact us.