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5 Reasons Industry Pros Should Join Cheese State University

Master your craft and build your community with this new (and free!) program from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

What does it mean to secure the future of cheese? For Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, it means investing in Cheese State University, a three-part online course that prepares industry professionals for a career behind the counter or elsewhere in the cheese world. We’ve listed a few reasons you should make it a priority to enroll:

1. Sharpen your cheese knowledge.

Dairy farmers, business owners, makers, and scientists developed the program’s curriculum, ensuring all aspects of the industry, from pasture to plate, are covered. Some topics include: microbiology, dairy chemistry, food safety, sales, and professional development. “This is a space where everyone is an equal—novices, cheesemongers, and experts,” says Carlos Yescas, Cheese State Scholar. The course couples professional training with foundational education to strengthen skills and confidence.

2. Deepen connections with other professionals in the cheese community.

Once you enroll, you’ll get access to the Cheese State University app, a social media platform that connects you with other industry professionals so you can network, learn, and get the inside scoop on upcoming events. “CSU allowed us to offer an interactive and connected community of cheese professionals to our staff, while also giving them access to education in a fun and engaging way,” says Sarah Simiele, Cheese State Scholar.

3. Add a new certification to your resume.

After passing the required Field Guide Assessment at Cheese State University (don’t worry, you get multiple tries to ace the test), you’ll receive a certificate to add to your resume or LinkedIn profile. “Receiving my diploma has reignited my passion for cheese as well as my job,” notes Karen Lange, Cheese State Scholar.

4. Prepare yourself for other exams.

While Cheese State University is not associated with the American Cheese Society, the topics covered in the two programs overlap. Think of it as a practice test that equips you with the foundational knowledge you need for all kinds of industry exams.

5. The course is completely free.

This tool is transforming how we educate cheese mongers,” Yescas says. As long as you’re a cheese professional, there’s no barrier to enrolling in this program. Cheese State University waives all costs so that all you have to worry about is filling out the application (which takes under three minutes to complete!).


Ashia Aubourg

Ashia Aubourg is culture's Assistant Digital Editor. She received her BA in Food Studies and Policy Studies from Syracuse University, where she researched components that make up equitable food systems. She previously held print and digital roles at Food & Wine, Cuisine Noir, America's Test Kitchen, and others, where her writing unearthed underrepresented narratives within food, travel, and culture. Before starting her writing career, she held food policy and social impact roles across various nonprofits and companies. Ashia currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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