CheeseCon Unveils Engaging Educational Opportunities

Posted By: Grace Atherton WCMA News,

Educational opportunities abound at CheeseCon, hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) April 4-6, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. Register now at to enjoy the best rates on the dairy industry’s largest gathering, with more than 3,000 processor and supplier representatives together at the Alliant Energy Center. 

Once again, a host of dairy experts from the nation’s leading dairy organizations are collaborating to bring dairy processors the latest information in optimizing product production, food safety, new product development, dairy exporting, sustainability and federal order reform. 

Following the Opening Keynote exclusively sponsored by RELCO/KSS on Wednesday, April 5, multiple educational pathways open up for CheeseCon attendees: 

  • CDR presents Optimizing Manufacture of Snack Cheeses, featuring an opening market overview followed by Optimizing String Cheese and Cheese Curds with speakers Suzanne Isiage, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Director of Market Research, and Rani Govindasamy-Lucey, Distinguished Scientist. 
  • WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer hosts Milk Pricing Reform in Federal Milk Marketing Orders, featuring industry experts Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation; Mike Brown, Director, Dairy Supply Chain, The Kroger Co.; Marin Bozic, President Bozic LLC and Board Advisor, Edge Co-op; and Mark Stephenson, Retiring Director of Policy & Markets, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Learning continues at CheeseCon on Thursday, April 6. Following the popular WCMA Recognition Breakfast exclusively sponsored by DSM Food Specialties, attendees can choose between: 

  • New Generation of Cheesemaking Approaches, offered by CDR, will highlight various emerging approaches including new types of vats, making cheese from customized powders, whey-less cheese, waterless cookers, enzyme treatments and more. CDR’s leading cheese minds John Jaeggi, Dean Sommer, and Mark Johnson will also discuss concentrated milk and how to deal with potential issues, such as coagulation and textural changes.
  • Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy joins CDR in a focus on food safety. Pathogen Prevention, Training Resources and Traceability offers insights into recent dairy product recalls and steps your organization can take to prevent pathogens. The session describes new training tools and takes a close look at the final traceability regulations from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Finally, university researchers offer the latest finding in Listeria monocytogenes control. 
  • Whey takes center stage in Advances in Whey Processing, a technical seminar from CDR. Learn about some of the exciting advances in whey processing, including utilizing nanofiltration to separate galactose from UF permeate or acid whey; extracting bioactive ingredients from whey phospholipid protein concentrates; and concentrating the phospholipids from whey phospholipid protein concentrates. Explore how these technologies can help the industry take advantage of underutilized dairy ingredients while adding value to others. 

Thursday afternoon, up to 200 attendees can sign up on-site for complimentary coach bus rides courtesy of C.D. Smith to the new CDR building on the University of Wisconsin campus, where CDR staff will lead guided tours. Take this opportunity to tour the world’s most advanced dairy research facility, built – in part – with dairy industry dollars. 

Additional speakers and seminars continue to be planned, as well as the popular Ideas Showcase of supplier partner presentations during the largest-ever tabletop exhibit floor on April 5. Visit for the latest details on the event’s educational opportunities, and to register at the best available rates.