Wisconsin’s Master Cheesemaker Program Shows Quality and Commitment

With Wisconsin holding the distinction of “America’s Dairyland,” the task of becoming a licensed master cheesemaker is one of the most challenging processes in the nation’s dairy industry. However, its graduates say the hard work is worth the value added to Wisconsin cheese.

Master cheesemakers Pam Hodgson, of Sartori Cheese, and Chris Renard, of Renard’s Cheese, as well as program coordinator Andy Johnson at the Center for Dairy Research, were guests on Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s podcast “The Dairy Signal.”

Hodgson said cheesemaking was not originally on her radar, but after going to Madison to study dairy science and follow her parents in becoming a dairy farmer, she took a job at a cheese plant and immediately fell in love with the process. She became a licensed cheesemaker in 1996 and received her master certification in 2005 in fontina, later getting recertified in Parmesan and asiago.

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