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The School of the New American Farmstead and Academie MonS– widely-renowned cheese producers, retailers, and educators in Europe–are collaborating to offer a suite of artisan cheesemaking courses that may be taken individually or pursued collectively to attain Sterling College’s Professional Certificate in Artisan Cheesemaking.
Sterling College and Academie MonS are known worldwide for their courses in artisan cheesemaking. Together, these two institutions take students from soil to cave to plate, demonstrating how the best cheeses in the world are made and opening up the world of possibilities for new artisan cheeses that are yet to be developed. Live your passion and become a cheesemaking artisan and entrepreneur, equipped with the knowledge, expertise, and experience gained through the completion of the Artisan Cheesemaking Professional Certificate. Courses are currently offered on location both in Vermont and France.
Who is this certificate for?
This certificate is designed for cheese or dairy professionals interested in:
- Creating value-added product lines
- Developing/perfecting new cheese recipes
- Effectively positioning their cheeses in the marketplace
- Selling their products direct to consumers or through a distributor
- Converting to a pasture-based grazing system
- Improving marketability and added value through affinage
- Expanding their product offerings
- Managing Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points for cheese
- Managing cheese caves for optimum performance
- Preparing for the ACS Certified Cheese Professional exam
- Competing in cheese and/or cheesemonger competitions
- Seeking to serve as a judge in cheese competitions
- Improving inventory management and product handling to reduce loss and ensure optimum quality
- Conveying cheese knowledge to customers and the media
- …and much more!
Why a professional certificate?
With the growth of the US artisan cheesemaking sector from less than 100 operations two decades ago to over 1000 artisan cheese businesses today, artisan cheesemaking is the brightest light in today’s troubled dairy industry. As dairy farms struggle with low milk prices and large dairy processors confront economic crisis, artisan cheesemaking offers opportunities for farms to maintain their economic independence and to create specialty cheeses reflecting the unique characteristics of their land, livestock, and local culture.
Vermont is the US leader in artisan cheesemaking, boasting more than 150 artisan cheeses, so it is no coincidence that Vermont is also home to the nation’s most innovative professional certificate program at Sterling College. In addition, one of the leading cheesemaking and aging facilities in the country, Jasper Hill Cellars, is just a 15 minute drive from the Sterling campus and serves as a site and collaborator for a portion of the coursework.
In addition to the renowned instruction offered by the experts at Academie MonS, the Sterling College faculty and campus farm provide a unique opportunity for students to explore the critical links between soil and plant health, livestock management, and safe production of high quality cheeses.
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Students successfully completing the Artisan Cheesemaking Professional Certificate will be able to:
- Develop recipes and apply methodologies for safely producing and aging high-quality cheeses
- Compare and contrast equipment, methods, and facility designs for cheese production and aging in order to find the most effective and safest solutions your facility
- Apply business management practices for improved cheese selection, care, and storage
- Assess and explain unique cheese characteristics utilizing sensory analysis
- Present and describe cheeses in an attractive and story-oriented manner
- Establish and maintain food safety records for cheesemaking, aging, and retail facilities
The following core courses are required for successful completion of the certificate:
|Title||Course ID||Credits||Start Term||Faculty|
|Professional Cheesemaking 101||3 ceus||TBA||Ivan Larcher|
|Professional Cheesemaking 201||3 ceus||TBA||Ivan Larcher|
|Affinage: The Art and Science of Maturing Cheese||CE307||2 CEUS||Eric Meredith|
|Organic Wine & Spirits Production Residency||12 CEU||August 14 - September 6, 2020||Nik de Rachewiltz|
|The Big Cheese: A Manager's Toolkit||3 ceus||TBA||Laurent Mons|
All students who complete a School of the New American Farmstead or Academie MonS professional cheese course are invited to join our closed Facebook group to maintain contact with fellow alumni and our network of instructors and collaborators.
Upon completion of the course requirements, you will be required to produce a Professional Portfolio per guidelines that will be provided.
Students will work with School of the New American Farmstead staff to create a their own Professional Portfolio demonstrating successful completion of their coursework, attainment of certificate learning objectives, and related professional experience and aspirations. This portfolio will be in digital format and may be used on websites, in social media such as LinkedIn, for job searches, and as documentation of competency and certificate completion to current employers.
Upon submission of the $500 portfolio advising and assessment fee, you will have a 30 day window in which to submit the following required materials:
- Professional Certificate Self-Assessment Essay
- Professional Statement
- Multi-media documentation of skills and proficiencies
- Proof of completion of North Carolina State University’s Food Safety for Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemakers course
Collectively, these materials will provide a thorough assessment and documentation of your skills and expertise for use both in job searches and negotiations with current employers.