I am a huge nerd. I have always enjoyed the act of learning, and fortunately for me, this industry has given me plenty of material to both literally and figuratively sink my teeth into. Moreover, I have found that the cheese industry is full of fellow nerds and lifelong learners like me. However, when the Certified Cheese Professional Exam was created, I was skeptical. What would I gain in studying for an exam that I couldn’t learn by picking up a few books?
If I were truthful with myself–I would have known that a year of self-directed study would have yielded a year’s worth of fodder for cocktail party conversation. When the American Cheese Society began the CCP exam, they outlined the body of knowledge which set the tone for the exam, and set a high standard for cheesemongers around the country. So while my inner liberal-arts-major can happily delve into the history and anthropology of cheese, preparing for the CCP exam forces me out of my comfort zone, to study topics such as: sanitation standards, cheesemaking, affinage, government regulations and nutrition.
This year I decided to take the leap and apply for a seat at the exam in July. I was thrilled to learn that I had made the cut. After meeting other Certified Cheese Professionals, I have abridged my former skepticism. I now feel that it is important for there to be a benchmark for education in cheese, just as there is for the beer and wine industry. I believe that the CCP not only sets a high standard for our industry, but also validates cheesemongering as a career path. I am excited to be a semifinalist candidate for the 2015 Sartori Scholar, the scholarship would help me continue my personal growth in a career and industry that I love. Thank you for considering me as a contestant!
Help Katie get to the American Cheese Society conference this summer. Vote for her!