Judging & Competition News-April 2016

Be Prepared to Enter & Ship – The Judging & Competition Committee Announces a Change to Receiving

By now you all should have received a postcard from ACS inviting you to enter your cheese and cultured dairy products into the 2016 ACS Judging & Competition (J&C) to be held in Des Moines, Iowa on July 25th and 26th.  This is an exciting time for us, watching the number of entries grow everyday.  Lots of companies and hundreds of products have already been submitted, so we thank you.

Here are some key dates to keep in mind as you begin planning:

  • Friday, May 13 – Deadline for regular entries
  • Friday, May 20 – Deadline for late entries (The deadline is 11:59 pm MST)
  • Friday, July 22 – Receiving day (all products must be shipped to be received on this day only)

Over the last two years, the Receiving & Logistics Sub-committee has worked tirelessly on improving our processes and systems to increase efficiencies throughout the 7 days required to execute the J&C, specifically during the receiving process.  As you may already know, the majority of our 14-person committee arrives on Wednesday and begins work immediately, setting up our receiving space.  Our work doesn’t end until sometime after dusk on the following Tuesday, when we hand the keys off to the Festival of Cheese committee.

Over the years, as the competition has grown, one of the challenges we’ve faced is finding enough local volunteers to assist us through the entire week, especially for receiving, which takes place the week prior to conference.  And, while we have an extremely dedicated group, the J&C requires committee members to take an additional week away from work and family.  So this year, based on our improved efficiencies, the sub-committee has decided to undertake a single day of receiving.  That’s right, a Single Day.

In the past you’ve been able to ship your products to arrive either on Thursday or Friday.  This year, however, we will process all products on Friday (so make sure your shipment is set to arrive on Friday, July 22).  A one-day receiving is a great undertaking and one that I am proud the sub-committee has embarked on.  We feel very confident this will be an improvement on past years’ efforts.  We believe this decision will allow us to attract a greater number of volunteers who are willing to commit to a full-day of receiving whilst juggling their own work schedule.  Plus, it means that the J&C Committee will only be required to spend an additional 6 days away from work and families.

As you can imagine with an event of this size and import, we need dozens of volunteers – 68, in fact, just for the single receiving day, plus 20 volunteers for each of the judging days.

We hope you’ll join us in Des Moines to help us shine the spotlight on the finest cheeses from the Americas!

Thank you for entering into this year’s J&C.  It’s sure to be an awesome one.

John Antonelli
ACS Judging & Competition Committee