Give the gift of cheesemaking!

A gifting the experience to learn how to be a cheesemaker is a gift that will enrich lives for years to come.

people looking into a vat of cheese

This holiday season many will give the gift of cheese. Cheese, after all, has many varieties to suit a variety of tastes and is a delicious treat that is stable over time. Whether a single cheese, a single type of cheese of different ages, or a variety of cheese types, a gift of cheese(s) is a truly a gift of dairy love.

Yet, I am reminded of the proverb about giving a fish or teaching a person to fish and, therefore, want to encourage some to give the gift of cheesemaking! Michigan State University Extension is offering an Artisan Cheese Workshop on February 29 to March 2, 2024 at the MSU dairy plant. This three-day course is designed for both those who already make cheese and want to improve their knowledge and skills or those who have not made cheese.

More information and registration is available at the Artsian Cheese Workshop page.

In the workshop, taught by veteran cheesemakers and current owners of Leelanau Cheese, participants will make at least four different cheeses while increasing their understanding of the factors that account for the production of quality cheese and what results in different cheeses.

The workshop is primarily designed for those who are considering commercial, rather than home, cheesemaking. Whether you are someone involved in the production of milk (cow or otherwise) or might consider cheesemaking from the purchase of milk, sales of this value-added dairy product has business potential.

Consumers in the United States set a new record for cheese consumption with per capita cheese consumption in 2022 topping 40 pounds per person on average, according to United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Each year, Americans eat more cheese and by 2022 are consuming greater than double the rate of cheese than the rate in 1982. Quality cheese is in increasing demand.

Registration for the cheesemaking workshop does not include lodging but does include lunches. Additionally, there will be a cheese tasting session as participants are asked to bring a favorite cheese or a cheese they made. This time of fellowship over cheeses also offers an opportunity to learn about judging cheese quality from our instructors who have won international cheese awards – Josh Hall and Gary Smith.

MSU Extension works with entrepreneurs through the MSU Product Center, assisting in both the development of products, packaging and marketing plan.

Whatever the occasion, the gift of the Artisan Cheesemaking Workshop is the gift of a rewarding experience that will long be remembered and thoroughly enjoyed.

Register for the Artisan Cheesemaking Workshop

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