Bio: Vern is the co-founder of Pholia Farm Creamery in Rogue River, Oregon. Opened in 2006, Vern and his wife, Gianaclis built Pholia Farm from design to licensing. With over nine years of experience making farmstead, aged, raw, goat cheese at Pholia, and a member of the Rogue Creamery cheese making team from 2007 to 2012, he has a strong understanding of the day-to-day needs of both small and medium makers. Vern continues to make Pholia cheeses each week. Organizationally, he was one of the founding board members of the Oregon Cheese Guild and has served as its Vice President and, most recently, President. Vern is a member of the ACS Member Services Committee and volunteers annually behind the scenes, supporting the ACS Judging & Competition. His education and experience from his previous career have provided him with many useful skills, from team building and facilitation to Government contracting, policy development, and administration.
Statement of Intent: Since attending my first American Cheese Society Conference in 2005, as well as my time with the Oregon Cheese Guild, I have grown to deeply appreciate the role that ACS plays in representing cheesemakers of all scales, from large to micro. Over the past few years there has been rapid growth in the number of small and very small creameries as well as Cheese Guilds, Councils, and Associations. Many small cheesemakers, however, seem unaware of the important work being done by the American Cheese Society and do not join. If elected, I would like to assist with the excellent work of the ACS committees and staff to not just package small and medium cheesemaker benefits, but to help create new opportunities between guilds, their membership, and ACS while also opening new markets for all cheesemakers.