Happy Fall!

With the leaves changing, the harvest occurring, and temperatures dropping across most of the country, we know the holidays can’t be far in the distance. It also means it must be American Cheese Month (ACM).

From the looks of things, ACM is really catching on! From ACM Passports to tastings, to special menus to cheese tours, thanks to all who are helping to raise awareness (and consumption) of cheese produced in America. These efforts are well-timed to make it a big holiday season for our pride and joy! What have you been doing? Make sure to post on the American Cheese Month Facebook page and also use the hashtag #amcheesemonth.

‘Tis the season for celebrating America’s finest, as demonstrated by an amazing showing at the bi-annual Slow Food World Cheese Festival, where American producers brought 25% more cheese than 2011 and still sold out with almost two days left in the festival! Additionally, the American Artisan Cheese pairing program at the Franciacorta Wine Festival was a sell-out success, with Italians clamoring and asking “where can I BUY these great cheeses”? After a number of meetings with international cheese organizations and watching the crowd react to our members’ creations, it is clear that America is taking a seat at the world cheese table, as it were. Watch this space for more information on these topics.

Having just returned from sunny California and the fall board and conference planning meetings, I can confidently predict that Sacramento is going to give our record-breaking conference in Madison a run for its money! In addition to its beauty and affordability, this city that calls itself the “Farm to Fork Capital” certainly appears to live up to its name. Make plans to join us next summer for a first-rate program in a region where dairy holds a prominent place in the hearts of locals. Big thanks to our 2014 co-chairs, Jill Giacomini Basch, Lynn Giacomini Stray, and Juliana Uruburu, plus the all-star conference planning team for their efforts. A true “dream team” from across America is putting this conference together for us.

Our ACS committees, comprised of amazingly dedicated volunteers, are getting down to business to work on food safety, best practices, minimum standards, and a host of other issues germane to our conversations this past summer. ACS is prepared to bring additional resources to bear to ensure that we have deliverables in time for Sacramento. Some of those developments may precede the conference, so stay tuned to CheeseBytes and share your thoughts with us!

We are always looking for additional volunteer committee members to assist ACS in its year-round work, so please contact us if you have interest or talents in a specific area, and you would like to share them.

Let’s finish American Cheese Month and the 2013 holiday season strong! The ACS board, staff, and committees look forward to serving you.


Greg O’Neill

Published 10/28/2013