2023 ARTISAN CHEESEMAKERS WINTER CONFERENCE

Advancing the practice and business of artisan cheesemaking.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16-FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2023 (2 DAYS!)

BUY CONFERENCE PASSES
HOW TO ACCESS SESSIONS– FOR REGISTERED ATTENDEES

2023 ARTISAN CHEESEMAKERS WINTER CONFERENCE

Advancing the practice and business of artisan cheesemaking.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16-FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2023 (2 DAYS!)

BUY CONFERENCE PASSES
ACCESSING SESSIONS — FOR REGISTERED ATTENDEES

ABOUT THE EVENT

This two-day virtual/online event is designed to provide exposure to new ideas and educational experiences for artisan cheesemakers – to help them advance their cheesemaking and business practices, as well as our industry as a whole.  While our content focuses on information to support professional cheesemakers, attendance is open to all, including other cheese industry professionals, amateur cheesemakers, the general public, and anyone who wants to dive more deeply into the world of cheese.

DATES

Thursday, February 17-Friday, February 18, 2023

PRESENTATIONS

Fungi Deep Dive:  Did We, Humans, Make Cheese Fungi Cheesy? by Jeanne Ropars, Researcher – Universite Paris-Saclay (Paris, France) – Cheese is a fermented product made by humans to transform and preserve milk for millennia. In this presentation we ask:  Have cheese fungi been domesticated by humans, as other organisms such as dogs or corn have been? Did we, humans, make cheese fungi cheesy? How and what does this mean for our industry?

Goat Genetics Deep Dive:  A Producer Perspective On Creating Quality Cheese Yield Milk Stephanie Rovey (Owner, Rovey Farms and Grande Ronde Dairy , La Grande, Oregon).  Stephanie will take us on a deep dive into the functional practices that allow her farm to maintain profitability and viability in producing milk for commercial cheese production.  As an operator of a goat dairy on the farm that ships milk exclusively for cheese, her insights will be useful for both larger and smaller goat dairies.  Stephanie runs Grande Ronde Dairy, which will be milking 1100 does in 2023 and ships fluid Grade A milk to Laura Chenel Chevre. With a focus on using technology to produce a quality product efficiently and sustainably, they have selected infrastructure and feed systems to aid in maximum lifetime care, and also reproductive assistance like IVF and AI to propagate profitable genetics that milk extended lactations with high components. 

Marketing Skills:  The Tool Every Cheesemaker Has and Should Use – The Smartphone! by Michele Walfred (University of Delaware) – Our smartphone devices are an essential tool for storytelling. Videos and photographs are powerful vehicles for conveying information and emotion to the public about you, the craft of cheesmaking, the values you hold, a behind the scenes look of your agriculture business, and of course your delicious products. You don’t need to sell it – just storytell it. This session will teach you the basics of what you need to create pictures that paint a thousand words and videos that showcase your profession and business that are suitable for websites and social media. With a modest investment you can present professional results with the smartphone you hold in your hand.  Michele Walfred is a communications specialist at the University of Delaware where she promotes all facets of agriculture often with her smartphone in hand! 

Deep Dive:  How Animal Feed Qualities Drive Milk & Cheese Qualities by Mauro Coppa of INRAE (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, France).

A Feature, Not a Bug:  The Importance of Sensory Alignment for Cheese Troubleshooting and Development by Bronwen Percival, Neals Yard Dairy (UK) – Everyone knows it’s easy to sell more cheese when the cheese is ‘good’. But too often, one person’s good is another person’s ‘not-so-much’. Bronwen Percival, technical director for Neal’s Yard Dairy, will discuss her work with the company’s sales teams and suppliers, in particular the promise of tools that help to promote a shared understanding of target flavor and texture profiles, and how these can work in the context of farmhouse cheeses, where seasonal and batch variation can and should be embraced.  Bronwen Percival is the technical director for Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. In addition to working with cheesemakers and the company’s maturation team to select and optimize the quality of the cheese they sell, she works to mobilize collaboration between cheesemakers and the scientific community. In 2012, she instigated a biennial conference on the Science of Artisan Cheese. In early 2014, she spent two months in the Dutton Lab at Harvard University studying the role of marine-associated Proteobacteria on cheese rinds. Along with Dr. Benjamin Wolfe, she co-founded the website MicrobialFoods.org, a scientific resource for producers, purveyors, and enthusiasts of artisan microbial foods. She is the co-author, with her husband Francis, of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Virtual Tour: Pecora Dairy with Michael and Cressida Cains (Robertson, Australia) – Join us as we “visit” the 200 acres upon which this artisan sheep milk dairy and cheesery sits.  Located in Robertson, the Green Heart of the Southern Highlands, within 100 miles of Sydney, Australia, Michael and Cressida Cains’ pure East Friesian sheep flock is at the center of their philosophy of gentleness on the land, towards their ewes, and in the production of their seasonal cheeses.

Digging into Leadership and Workplace Dynamics with Ned Powley. Being a cheesemaker sometimes means you make cheese – and sometimes it means you are part of a larger team or manage your own staff, sometimes you have supplier and distributor relationships you navigate throughout your work week, and almost always – for all of us – you are fitting your work life in with your personal life.  In this presentation – Ned will dive in to help us think about the impact we can have on each other in these spaces.  Edward H. Powley, Ph.D. (Ned) is an Associate Professor of Management at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, teams, organizational change, and resilience, including coursework on emotional intelligence and leadership at the University of Vermont.

Bridging the Gap Between Research & Industry – There is great research being done, but as a cheese producer – how do you know about it?  If you’re a researcher, how do you know what questions cheese producers have and need answers to?  Can we do more?  How should we tackle this?  In this session, we will pull in research partners from different locations to learn more about what works and isn’t working when we try to help cheese and milk producers stay aware of recent academic research – and what we might do when our industry has questions for researchers and doesn’t know how to get answers.  Grab your popcorn friends! This should be interesting!

Deep dive:  Bacteria!  Ben Wolfe from the Wolfe Lab at Tufts University will be joining us to get into the guts of this area and share some recent research his lab has found.

PRICING & REGISTRATION

2-day Early Bird Attendee Pass – $95. Only available through end of December 2022.

2-day Regular Attendee Pass – $110. Available Jan 1 2022 through event.

1-day Regular Attendee Pass – $65.

Vermont Cheese Council Members Discount 20% off (please reach out for this promo code or look for it in your membership e-news)

Member of Partner Guilds:  Please note that for guilds that assist us with outreach we are offering discounts for their own members.  If you belong to a cheese guild, please ask your guild leadership to see if they are participating in this program. 

We are also offering free conference access for anyone who registers for our online course, The Science of Farmstead Cheese (see next section on this page for more info).

BUY ATTENDEE PASSES

*** SPECIAL OFFER WITH THE SCIENCE OF FARMSTEAD CHEESE ONLINE COURSE

For anyone who purchases our Online Course, The Science of Farmstead Cheese, between now and Sunday February 13, we will offer them one complimentary free attendee pass to this conference.  A great discount for those looking for both a fun conference experience and a deeper look at the science of cheesemaking.  (Does not apply with VCC member discount for course)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF FARMSTEAD CHEESE ONLINE COURSE

INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR SPONSORS?

Sponsors play an important role in our event, in that they become part of our team by helping to make the event affordable for all who attend. Many cheesemakers are still facing a mix of challenges related to the impacts of COVID.  Our goal is to continue to offer access to world class knowledge at an affordable price – and every sponsor who supports us can help with that. We hope you will join us in this effort!  We hope you will join us in this effort!

We are offering sponsorship levels for organizations big and small!  If interested in more information, please reach out to info@vtcheese.com.

INTERESTED IN OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES TOO?

Visit our learning resources page…