Bio: I have been a cheesemaker for over 30 years, specializing in hard cheeses. I have taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for 29 years. During this time, I manage the University Dairy Plant and teach the Dairy Technology curriculum.
For the past 25 years, I have been volunteering through various programs to teach dairy technology in developing countries. Thus far, I have worked in approximately 25 different countries, logging over 4,000 hours.
Statement of Intent: With the consumption of cheeses and other dairy products becoming a global event, I believe a safe and wholesome product is of the utmost importance. I would like to focus on the issue of food safety, developing an educational program for farmstead and artisanal cheesemakers. This program would entail an in-depth program on HACCP and other quality systems. The cheesemaker must have the correct tools and skill sets to ensure the quality of their product. I would like to see a program and resources developed and offered through a central location to assist the cheesemaker in this area. I believe that the American Cheese Society is an ideal venue for accomplishing this.
Regulatory agencies have the responsibility to oversee food safety. It is the cheesemaker’s responsibility to educate these agencies in the different nuances of farmstead operations. With the Society’s vast experiences and knowledge of members, this can be accomplished. An open dialogue between these two groups is vital not only for the continuation of the farmstead/artisanal cheese maker but also for consumers.