Cheesemaker Education Day

What: Cheesemaker Education Day is the west coast’s premier educational conference for the artisan cheese industry.

When: January 27 & 28, 2017

Where: Oregon State University, Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility, 3521 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, OR 97331

Who: Creamery owners and cheesemakers from Oregon, the NW, California, further afield; people interested in starting a creamery business, others related to the artisan cheese industry, and students. In addition to the seminars, there will be a small trade show for cheese industry vendors.

Cost: Tickets are $75, and include all seminars, lunch, coffee breaks, and reception.  First ticket $25 for Oregon Cheese Guild members, additional tickets $50.  After January 23 and at the door, tickets are $100.  Entry to the Jan. 27 dinner is $5.
Hands-On Cheesemaking with Peter Dixon on Friday, Jan. 27 from 12-5 is $75 and includes entry to Saturday’s seminars.

Accommodations: Group rate of $126+tax at the Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to campus.  Click here or call 541-752-5000 for reservations. Discounted rates are good until Jan. 6.

Buy Tickets Here

Conference Schedule

Friday, January 27


12:00-5:00   Hands-On Cheesemaking – Halloumi and Alpine Cheese (separate ticket)
Speakers:       Peter Dixon with guest appearance from Sandy Speich, Dairy Connection
This is a hands-on day of cheesemaking where we will make a hard, alpine cheese in the style of Gruyere and Halloumi, the Cypriot grilling cheese.  Participants will work together to make these cheeses under the guidance of Peter Dixon.  In addition to working at the vat and the table and press there will be time for discussion about the steps involved in salting and aging the cheeses.
A special guest from Dairy Connection will be on hand to talk about starter and ripening cultures used in alpine cheesemaking.


6:00-7:00     The Cowgirl Creamery Story
Speaker:        Sue Conley
Sue Conley and Peggy Smith took a trip to San Francisco in 1976 after finishing degrees at the University of Tennessee. Both established careers in some of San Francisco’s most famous kitchens: Peggy spending 17 years at Chez Panisse, and Sue co-owning Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley.
By the early ’90s, Peggy and Sue were ready for a new challenge. They launched Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing vehicle to help West Marin’s farms and dairies sell direct to the Bay Area’s finest chefs. Their first location, a renovated hay barn in downtown Point Reyes, featured a small cheesemaking room at the entrance to the building. It gave them ideas. Using milk from their neighbors, they began making delicious fresh cheeses.  Hear the the story of how they turned their dream into roaring success, direct from Sue Conley herself.


7:00-9:00     No-Host Group Dinner in Corvallis


Saturday, January 28


8:30                Welcome


8:35-9:55       Regulatory Q&A
Speakers:      Marc Bates and Frank Barcellos
If you’re not quite up to speed with the latest on FSMA and state regulatory changes, you’re not alone.  Join us for an interview-style Q&A with Marc Bates and Frank Barcellos to answer all your burning questions about the small creamery exemption, 3rd party audits and self-assessment, upcoming changes to state regulations, and more.  Note: when you purchase your ticket, don’t miss the chance to enter a question of your own for this session!


9:55-10:10  Break


10:10-11:15   Finding the Right Lab Partner
Moderator:  Shawn Fels, Speakers: Doug Marshall, Eurofins/DQCI; Nidal Kahl, Exova; Jenny Mailand, 3M, Jim Madden, ODA
Advances in testing methodology have created rapid and inexpensive options for Cheese Makers to leverage when monitoring safety and quality of products and environments. Along with changes in speed and cost, Cheese Makers must weigh implications of reproducibility, accuracy, detection limits, accreditation and regulatory differences between methods. Come learn which factors to weigh when selecting analytic methods for your business success and consumer safety.


11:15-12:15   Reverse Engineering to Develop a Recipe
Speaker:      Peter Dixon
How do you figure out how to make a favorite cheese or something new for you business?  In this session we will walk through the steps needed to accomplish this goal.  We will investigate requirements for milk production and quality, cultures, rennet, processing and aging techniques and other variables that are important in forming an approach to making something that you are unfamiliar with.


12:15-12:45   Lunch


12:45-2:30     The Whole Package
Moderator: Ashley Vulin, David Wright Tremaine; Speakers: Steve Sandstrom, Founder and Creative Director at Sandstrom Partners; Lisa Herlinger, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream; Hilary Renshaw, New Seasons; Simon Desmarais, Fromagex
Designing your packaging is arguably the most important marketing decision you make as a creamery.  From the technical to the aesthetic, how you represent your cheese, your story, and your brand directly affects the success of your business.  This all-star panel addresses all aspects of packaging to help you maximize consumer appeal, shelf life, flavor, and sales.


2:30-2:45       Break


2:45-3:45      Building Value for Exit and Succession Planning
Moderator:   Jess Lyon, Davis Wright Tremaine; Speakers: Keith Meyers, Perkins & Co.; Sue Conley, Cowgirl Creamery
Whether you are actively seeking a buyer, currently in growth mode, or planning on handing your business down to your children, understanding and building the value of your company will help you be more successful.  This session explores the process professional valuation experts use to determine your price tag, what buyers look for in prospective acquisitions, and strategies proactive business owners employ to make their companies more attractive.


3:45-4:30      Oregon Cheese Marketing Grant – Consumer Research Results and Oregon Cheese Month 2017 – Get Involved! 
Speaker: Katie Bray, Oregon Cheese Guild


4:30-6:00    Cheese and Drink Reception


 Friday, Jan. 27 12:00-5:00 pm
Cheesemaking Track: Hands-On Cheesemaking with Peter Dixon
Halloumi and Alpine Cheese


Vendor Displays

With the move to the new Oldfield Agriculture Building, Cheesemaker Education Day can now accommodate vendor displays! There are two options available through our ticketing site:

Cheesemaker Education Day Sponsorship – $500

  • 8’ table with two chairs in premier location
  • 2 tickets to Cheesemaker Education Day seminars, lunch, and reception
  • Logo on CED website
  • Ad and listing in CED program
  • Mentions in event promotion emails
  • Access to attendee list
  • Support the Oregon Cheese Guild and its members

Display Table – $200

  • 8’ table with two chairs
  • 1 ticket to Cheesemaker Education Day seminars, lunch, and reception
  • Listing in CED program

Contact Katie Bray at katiembray(at)gmail(dot)com for more information on Cheesemaker Education Day.