American Cheese Society

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The American Cheese Society® (ACS) is the leader in promoting and supporting American cheeses.[1] ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability. ACS is a nonprofit trade association, founded in 1983. ACS issues awards recognizing fine cheeses and cultured dairy products via its annual Judging & Competition. Since 1983, cheesemakers, retailers, distributors, importers/exporters, dairy farmers, academics, enthusiasts, specialty food producers, and others have attended the association's Annual Conference.[2][3]

ACS was founded by Frank Kosikowski of Cornell University. Dr. Kosikowski was the author of several books on the subject of cheese, for instance : Cheese and Fermented Milk Food.[4] While the organization had a slow and steady beginning, with most of the workers being volunteers, by the 1990s there was much growth for ACS as well as for the American cheese industry in general. In 2018 there were nearly 1,800 members of the association throughout the United States, Canada, and numerous other countries around the world.[5]


ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability.[6] ACS has an alliance nonprofit organization called "the American Cheese Education Foundation (ACEF)".[7] ACEF is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable organization that allows donors to make tax-deductible gifts to support existing and new efforts to further educational opportunities for all those interested in producing, marketing, selling, and appreciating America's artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses.


ACS membership is available to anyone who cares about great cheese – whether a professional in the industry or simply someone who is passionate about American-made artisan and specialty cheeses. Membership is available at two levels: Professional (Producer or Trade Affiliate) and Non-Professional (Associate). [8]

Events and education[edit]

The American Cheese Society (ACS) holds an Annual Conference & Competition to gather members of the artisan and specialty cheese community, with approximately 1,400 attendees gathering in a different city each year for educational and networking opportunities. ACS also developed and administers the ACS Certified Cheese Professional® Exam (ACS CCP® Exam)[9] and the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test(TM), resulting in the ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator(TM) credential.[10] These exams were established to encourage improved standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service, offering professionals in the cheese industry the opportunity to earn these distinguished titles and demonstrate that they have acquired thorough knowledge and the level of expertise that is demanded within the cheese industry. An online directory[11] of individuals with the ACS CCP® designation is available for reference by organizations and individuals seeking employees, giving ACS CCPs, ACS CCSEs, and their employers a strong competitive edge. ACS organizes several events annually, including American Cheese Month every October.[12] The month-long celebration aims to promote and support the American cheese industry and increase funding for the American Cheese Education Foundation. American Cheese Month encourages cheesemakers to host special events such as tours at their farms. People from across the country are encouraged to join by promoting cheese related events including gatherings of cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs to celebrate and share great cheese.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ O'Reilly, David (July 17, 1985). "American cheese: More than just bland spread". The Evening Independent. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "History". ACS website. American Cheese Society. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  6. ^ "Mission values". ACS website. American Cheese Society. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  7. ^ "American Cheese Education Foundation". ACE Foundation website. American Cheese Education Foundation. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "benefits". ACS website. ACS membership. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Christy&Heinen (September 26, 2012). "New professional exam from American Cheese Society is serious stuff". Madison-Magazine.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "ACS CCP Directory". ACS website.
  12. ^ "American Cheese Month". ACS website.