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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OSU Extension Offers Cheese-Making Workshop

February 7, 2008

JEFFERSON, Ohio -- Ohio dairy, sheep and goat producers interested in boosting profits can learn about the cheese-making business through an Ohio State University Extension workshop.

"Hands-on Basic Cheese Making" will take place April 2-4 at the OSU Extension office in Ashtabula County. Registration is $375 per person and includes resource materials, all workshop supplies, daily lunches and refreshments. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

David Marrison, an OSU Extension educator for Ashtabula County, said that Extension has offered the cheese-making workshop in the past and it has been extremely popular. A similar workshop being offered in Wayne County the end of February is already sold out.

The three-day workshop in Ashtabula County is intended for dairy producers, as well as other individuals, who are interested in learning how to make cheese or to improve upon their cheese making skills. The heart of the workshop is the hands-on opportunity to make a number of different cheeses, including Gouda, Havarti, lactic, Tome, provolone, ricotta and mozzarella.

Peter Dixon, a nationally known cheese-maker instructor and operator of the Center for Farmstead Milk Processing in Vermont, will be the guest presenter. Dixon will teach participants about milk quality, ingredients used in cheese making, processes for making a variety of cheeses, techniques and requirements for aging cheese, and pointers for establishing a business as a farmstead or artisan cheese maker.

Dixon's experience includes training with fourth-generation French cheese makers; working as a cheese maker and quality control manager at Shelburne Farms and Vermont Butter and Cheese; consulting on international development projects to create farmstead cheese cooperatives, improve product quality, and develop brand recognition for local sheep cheeses; and developing and operating food safety programs for Vermont Butter and Cheese Company and the Vermont shepherd cheese producers.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio ranks eighth in the nation in general cheese making, and first in the nation in Swiss cheese production.

For more information on the OSU Extension workshop, contact David Marrison at (440) 576-9008 or e-mail

Candace Pollock
David Marrison