University of Maine Cooperative Extension has announced that they will present a Dairy Sanitation Workshop on Monday, June 1st at the University of Maine Orono campus in the Buchanan Alumni Hall, McIntire Room. The Maine Cheese Guild will co-sponsor the event, and Guild members will receive a discount on the workshop fee.
This will be an all-day workshop with a break for lunch (included in the workshop fee). Exact start/end times and fee will be posted shortly.
This workshop will also include the latest update on the upcoming implementation of the federal Food Safety and Modernization Act which will completely overhaul food safety compliance across the country beginning October 2015. (The Guild has posted updates on this periodically but we expect things to change right up through the implementation.)
Our next meeting will take place on Monday, May 4th at Sunset Acres in Brooksville. We should get the rundown on the Dairy Sanitation workshop that the Guild is co-sponsoring with UMO Cooperative Extension which is scheduled for June 1st at the Orono campus right now.
Below are the licensed cheese makers in Maine as published by the Maine Department of Agriculture. There are 72 Processed Dairy Facilities as of April 2015
At our Annual Meeting last November we committed to sending as large a group as possible to this year’s American Cheese Society conference in Providence, RI July 29th through August 1s. To that end we committed to offering partial grants to UP TO TEN (or as many as we can afford) Guild members to help them with the cost of attendance; the grants would pay for the Early Bird conference fee of around $500, which would be roughly half of total expenses. (Be aware that you must also be a member of ACS to attend the conference, and to submit competition entries.)
It’s time to ask our members to apply to the Guild so that we know how many folks are interested so we can budget accordingly.
If you can commit to attending the ACS Conference this summer and would like to apply for a guild Grant to do so, please write
—one paragraph describing you and your cheese experience,
—and one paragraph describing what you seek to gain by attending the ACS conference;
—your name and contact info;
—send to email@example.com with the subject “Guild Grant Request” BEFORE our April 13th meeting.
At that meeting the group will discuss the number of folks seeking a grant, and given our current finances how many grants the Guild can afford to offer. If there are more grant seekers than grants available, the Guild board will review the applications and choose whom will receive Grants before the end of the Early Bird registration.
In addition to conference fee grants, the Guild has committed to offering to pay the entry fee for any Guild member’s first ACS competition entry, and to subsidize a group shipment of all Guild entries into the competition. More info about that effort later this year.
The Maine Cheese Guild stands by it’s Quality Statement, issued in May 2009, with regard to the Local Food Ordinance proposals we have seen, and to the legislative bills introduced for the 2011 session (LD330 and LD366).
Our testimony against LD330, given to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry at the March hearing on this bill follows:
The Maine Cheese Guild announces that we will offer to cover the cost of every Maine Cheese Guild member’s first ACS Competition entry for 2015. We know from past experience that the more Maine cheeses that are entered into the largest cheese competition in North America, the more Maine cheeses will win awards and illustrate the quality of cheese being made and sold in Maine.
In addition, the Maine Cheese Guild will organize a group shipment of ALL Guild entries to the ACS Competition and will subsidize up to $500 of the cost for that, splitting any additional costs among those who participate. Details on this will be sent to everyone who participates in the First Entry Reimbursement as the shipping date approaches in July.
Reimbursement for your first ACS Competition Entry is simple: enter at least one cheese in the ACS competition. Each entry is $60 and you must enter before May 9th (there is a one-week late entry period, but the Guild will reimburse for only the regular entry fee on your first entry); you must be an ACS member to participate, and you will need to be prepared to upload a picture/scan of your current local license certificate when you enter the competition on-line. When you receive your email receipt, forward that email with your mailing address to our treasurer, Mary Belding–
(littlefallsfarmcheeseATgmailDOTcom using the @ and . symbols where upper-case)
–and she will send you a check for your first entry fee.