Become an artisan cheesemaker

Going beyond common and making a distinctly appetizing cheese is a skill that will be taught by veteran commercial cheesemakers in an MSU Extension workshop. Cheesemaking as a business is the focus for participants who will experience hands-on learning.

Love the squeak from biting into a fresh cheese curd? Delight in the sharpness of an aged cheddar? Savor spreading soft cheese on a toasted bagel? Dream of making cheese as a business? Then you may be interested in participating in the Michigan State University Extension Artisan Cheese Workshop.

This hands-on workshop led by experienced artisan cheesemakers will teach participants to make both hard and soft cheeses and learn how to make cheese as a business. Whether you are new to cheesemaking or have been doing it, there is much to learn of the art and science of making fine cheese. The workshop will be held August 17-19, 2022 at the Natural Way Cheese creamery, 6060 E. Beaverton Road, Clare.

Gary Smith and Josh Hall, owners and operators of Leelanau Cheese will lead participants through the steps of making various cheeses and explaining differences in process that result in different cheeses. MSU Extension Educators, Stan Moore and Phil Durst, will teach the business of cheese.

The products of artisanal cheesemaking are set apart from everyday cheeses and are meant for the discerning consumer who enjoys good cheese, appreciates it being made locally in small batches, and who is willing to pay a premium for a quality product. This is an opportunity to get into this value-added dairy business.

This 3-day workshop is meant to be intense and fun, enabling participants to experience cheesemaking as well as enjoying the products of it. Registration is limited to 18. To register, go to If you have questions, please contact Phil Durst, MSU Extension at

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