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

When: January 25, 2020 (Hands-on cheesemaking workshop on Friday, Jan. 24)

Where: Oregon State University, LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St, 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 $100, and include all seminars, lunch, coffee breaks, and reception.  First ticket $30 for Oregon Cheese Guild members, additional tickets $65.  After January 23 and at the door, tickets are $125. Hands-on cheesemaking workshop on Friday, Jan. 24 is a $75 additional ticket.

Accommodations: Group rate $132/night at the Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to campus, click here to reserve. *NOTE: group rate is good through January 3 so book soon!

Purchase Tickets Here

Conference Schedule

Friday, January 24

9:30-4:00 Hands-On Cheesemaking with Neville McNaughton and Eric Meredith in Withycombe 159 (additional ticket $75)
Don’t miss the chance to make cheese with these expert cheesemakers, taking a deep dive into a few of the topics you’ll see at the Affinage session on Saturday. Make feta using Neville’s equilibrium brining method, talk through Eric’s “pitfall protocol” to identify and troubleshoot problems, participate in a Small Curd Clinic, learn how to evaluate your facility, ask questions, make some camembert, and more!

6:30-8:30 No-Host Meet & Greet at 101 Eat & Drink, 101 NW Jackson Ave in downtown Corvallis 
Mingle with your peers, have a drink, grab a bite to eat at this informal gathering.

Saturday, January 25 in LaSells Stewart Center

8:30-9:00 Regulatory Update
Speaker: Frank Barcellos, ODA
On the agenda for this session:
* Changes at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
* FDA and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
* Eurofins has a new test method for PFAS that is AOAC reviewed

9:00-9:45 OSU’s BUILD Program and Grad Student Research Speed Updates
Speaker: Sheri Cole and Grad Students 
Oregon State University’s Dairy Foods program is thriving due to the diversity and strength of both students and faculty. OSU is actively participating in BUILD, a program funded by the dairymen of Idaho intended to enable the next generation of dairy technical professionals. The program brings together universities in the Western U.S., industry and other stakeholders to set and fund impactful research priorities. Sheri Cole will share an overview of BUILD and status on OSU’s new Dairy pilot plant and students will share their research projects with implications to cheesemakers.

10:00-12:15 Affinage Take II: Troubleshooting and Consistency
Speakers: Sarah Marcus, Briar Rose; Neville McNaughton, Sanitary Design Industries; Eric Meredith, Fromaginary
Expanding on last year’s Affinage session, this time we explore the mantra “there are so many things we can’t control, we MUST control the things we can!”
Starting with the inputs to cheesemaking, Eric will introduce a methodical series of questions to identify problem areas, then address a few specific common issues artisan cheesemakers face.

12:15-12:45 LUNCH

12:45-1:15 What Makes Our Customers Tick?
Speaker: Katie Bray, Oregon Cheese Guild
Thanks to a USDA Farmers Market Promotion grant, the Oregon Cheese Guild has undertaken two rounds of extensive consumer research, looking at our core customers’ purchase drivers, media consumption, packaging preferences, perceptions of Oregon cheese, and much more.  Having data from 2016 and 2019 allows us to identify trends and track progress over time. Knowing who our consumers are allows us to find more of them!

1:15-2:00 Now What? Using Our Research to Drive Sales
Speaker: Alli Condra, Davis Wright Tremaine
This session takes our consumer research and looks at the legalities of what we put on our packages.  Consumers say they want humane treatment of animals, locally made products, sustainable operations, so how do you best communicate that on your label?

2:15-4:15 Scaling Up: A Roadmap to Growth
Speakers: Greg Drobot, Face Rock Creamery; Ben Looney, Growth Commercial Capital; Shawn Fels, Portland Creamery; Neville McNaughton, Sanitary Design Industries
Data shows that it is nearly impossible for a medium-sized artisan cheesemaker to be profitable, so how do you transition from a farmers market-only operation through self- and third party distributions and ultimately to national (and international?) sales? This session takes a practical look at the growth model for our industry and how to navigate it for success.

4:15-6:00 BYO Cheese Reception
Bring one or two of your favorite creations to share and taste your colleagues’ cheeses. No host bar.

Vendor Displays

Cheesemaker Education Day is now in the LaSells Stewart Center, giving vendors the opportunity for full 10×10 spaces in event common areas. There are two options available, sign up for booth space here (scroll down).

Cheesemaker Education Day Sponsorship – $500

8’ table in conference center lobby
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 – $300

8’ table
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.