This 4 day course covers the materials and processes used to make specialty cheese for farmstead and artisan dairy processors and others interested in cheese.

Gain knowledge of the materials and processes used to make specialty cheese and learn techniques to improve your business. This 4 day course covers milk composition and microbiology, rennet and cheese cultures, cheese making principles, sanitation practices, food safety plans, sensory evaluation, and marketing.

The course emphasizes interactive learning through the integration of classroom discussions, hands-on cheese making and microbiology labs, demonstrations and tasting sessions. Breaks, lunches, and a reception encourage further discussion.

Who Should Attend

  • Farmstead and artisan dairy producers and processors
  • Individuals interested in developing a value-added dairy business
  • Individuals interested in cheese making
  • Equipment and ingredient suppliers for small-scale cheese makers
  • Regulatory personnel


  • The course begins with a focus on the materials used for cheese making. Knowledge of milk composition and microbiology combined with good sanitation practices form the foundation for the consistent manufacture of high quality cheese.
  • Cheese making will be discussed with an emphasis on the chemical and microbial changes at each step in the process to help cheesemakers understand how to adjust their make procedure to modify finished cheese properties or in response to variations in milk supply or other factors.
  • Hands-on laboratories include a microbiology testing session and making several varieties of cheese in the pilot plant.
  • The sensory evaluation session integrates the principles learned in lectures and labs and illustrates how cheese evaluation can be used to troubleshoot manufacturing problems.
  • Food safety principles, including HACCP, are presented to enable cheesemakers to comply with current and anticipated regulations.
  • The course encourages interaction among the students and course instructors during lectures, lab, field trip, breaks, and meals and at the wine and cheese reception

Contact the course director for information on current or future offerings.