American Cheese Society Resources

The American Cheese Society is dedicated to providing its members, industry professionals and cheese enthusiasts with educational resources. Whether you are seeking information about best practices in cheesemaking, trying to get a better understanding of the terms used in the cheesemaking industry, or seeking information about food safety, our collection of resources is built to help support you and your business. Many of our resources are available to everyone, however, there are some resources that require an active ACS membership to access. We hope you will take time to explore our resources and learn more about becoming a member to access our exclusive members-only content.

Cheese Definitions

There are multiple ways to describe, organize and classify cheese including texture, milk type, and place of origin. Regardless of the classification system, many varieties of cheese cross over from one category to another. Visit our Cheese Definitions page to learn more about the different ways by which cheese is defined and classified.

ACS Lexicon & Glossary

The ACS Cheese and Dairy Product Lexicon and Glossary (ACS Lexicon & Glossary) aims to facilitate conversations across the supply chain of cheese by creating a credible, modern resource that provides a greater understanding of the myriad ways in which cheese is discussed and described.

Creative Commons License The American Cheese Society Cheese and Dairy Product Lexicon and Glossary by The American Cheese Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers

This Guide provides an easy reference for busy cheesemakers—especially small- to mid-size producers—and was created to encompass currently accepted best practices for cheesemaking. The second edition of the Guide, published in February 2017, includes updates based on changing regulations, incorporates direct feedback and clarification from reviewers at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and provides more current resources and templates where available. This Guide gleans the key requirements, suggestions, and practices from that vast sea of information, and condenses them into an easily digestible format written in accessible language. Get a free digital copy of the guide here.

American Cheese Society Planning Guide for Cheese Festivals: A Resource for Cheese Guilds

The ACS team has compiled tips and information for planning a successful cheese festival. From pre-event planning to post-event logistics, this guide is a useful reference for planning large-scale events that serve cheese and feature cheesemakers. Get your copy of the guide here.

The Safe Cheesemaking Hub

The Safe Cheesemaking Hub is dedicated to providing an easily searchable compendium of vetted food safety resources for cheesemakers. The website serves as a “one-stop shop” for the valuable resources, research, training, and tools artisan cheesemakers need to enhance their food safety practices. This site also features a “Retailers Toolkit” designed to provide food safety resources for cheese and specialty food retailers.

The Safe Cheesemaking Hub is also home to many online education resources including the New Online Course: Food Safety Basics for Artisan Cheesemakers. Visit The Safe Cheesemaking Hub to access this training and other important resources.

Body of Knowledge

The American Cheese Society (ACS) Body of Knowledge is a comprehensive framework that aims to encompass the interdisciplinary domains of information that comprise the knowledge base of the cheese industry. The ACS Body of Knowledge was first compiled in 2010, modified in 2012, and revised in 2017 to reflect the dynamic nature of the growing cheese industry. Read ACS’s Body of Knowledge framework here.

Zotero ACS Library

The ACS Library, powered by Zotero, is an online database of industry resources. The database covers recent news articles about the cheese industry, research papers, and professional tips and guides from those in the industry. Visit The ACS Library on Zotero to view the folders, browse tags, and search the ACS Library.

Archived Webinars

ACS offers online education to its members at no cost throughout the year in the form of educational webinars. Please note that most archived webinars require a password for viewing. The password may be found here. In addition to these webinars, you can also find online training at the Safe Cheesemaking Hub.




Conference Educational Sessions

ACS Members can download slideshows from conference presentations from the ‘Forged in Cheese’ Mobile App! Simply text ACS2018 to 99000.

Advocacy & Engagement

ACS engages with regulators and other key stakeholders on a regular basis to advance issues of importance to our members. This work keeps American cheesemakers, and particularly traditional cheesemaking practices, top-of-mind for industry decision-makers. An overview of advocacy and engagement efforts can be found here. Please note that this list may not be all-inclusive, and updates are made regularly.

Industry Data

The American Cheese Society (ACS) has released a Report of Key Findings from its inaugural 2016 State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey. This report provides a snapshot of the small businesses that make up the community of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheesemakers in America – a community that has been growing for years, with very little real data available to provide greater insight into this market segment. To read the report click here.