Minnesota Cheese Guild Inaugural Conference

Date: September 10, 2014
Location: Holiday Inn, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Cost: $65, Register here before Sept. 2.

Our friends in Minnesota have recently organized their own cheese guild, and are kicking it off with a one-day conference on September 10 at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud. Their inaugural event is hosted by the Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association as part of their Fall Conference and Annual Meeting.

In exciting news, the Guild has extended a warm welcome to all Wisconsin Artisan Cheesemaker Guild members.


7:30 AM — Breakfast & Registration

8:30 AM — Minnesota Cheesemakers Guild meeting and roundtable discussion (led by Jodi Ohlsen Reed, Guild President)

9:30 AM — Break (Registration will still be open)

9:40 AM — Minnesota Department of Agriculture Updates (Dr. Nicole Neeser, MDA)
Dr. Neeser will provide an update on state inspection programs and antibiotic residue testing. This is a joint session with UMDIA attendees.

10:15 AM — Opening Speaker (Jeanne Carpenter, Cheese Underground and Wisconsin Artisan Cheese Guild)
Jeanne Carpenter is a self-described cheese geek, raised on Velveeta in Wisconsin. She is an award-winning journalist and has served as spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and the Dairy Business Innovation Center. Jeanne is hyper-active in the cheese world, serving on the 2014 Program Committee for ACS, organizing Wisconsin Cheese Originals and the Wisconsin Artisan Cheesemaker Guild. Her motto is: Have Fun. Do Good. Eat Cheese.

11:00 AM — Bringing Cheese to Market – A Retailer’s Perspective (John Stueland & Jennifer Hodges, LFHI)
Jennifer Hodges and John Stueland are Category Managers at Lunds and Byerly’s for Deli and Foodservice. Jennifer and John will speak on specialty cheese category management for retail and foodservice, provide an overview of the current landscape, and outline bringing new items to market and maintaining existing products through promotion.

12:00 PM — Lunch

1:00 PM — A Farmstead Cheesemaker’s FDA Experience (Kenny Mattingly, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese)
Kenny Mattingly began making cheese on his fairy farm in the late 1990’s as a way to save the farm from the perils of a suffering fluid-milk market. Initially selling at farmers’ markets at to restaurants in nearby Louisville and Nashville, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese has grown to a national brand. Kenny speaks of his experience in an FDA inspection, and how his business has changed.

2:00 PM — Environmental Testing Programs (Gloria Anderson, Minnesota Valley Testing Labs)
Gloria Anderson is the Director of Client Services for MVTL and a long-time industry veteran with experience in microbiological and analytical testing. Gloria will speak of the fundamentals of a plant environmental testing program. An environmental microbial testing can meet FSMA requirements for monitoring preventive controls and corrective actions when problems arise.

3:00 PM — Wrap up (Rueben Nilsson, Guild Vice President)