Monday, September 24, 2007

So You Want to be a Cheesemaker?

An aspiring Wisconsin cheesemaker has started her own So You Want to be a Cheesemaker blog, describing the life and times of what it takes to earn your cheesemaking license in this state.

Kara Kasten, a fifth year senior at UW-Madison, will earn a degree in dairy science and communications in December. Having grown up on a dairy farm 30 miles north of Milwaukee, she has obviously been involved in the state's dairy industry since she was a kid. But it wasn't until she started working part-time at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture a couple of years ago that she became familiar with the burgeoning opportunities available to Wisconsin cheesemakers.

Apparently, a trip last summer to Australia to learn more about their dairy industry sealed the deal, because she came back ready to begin taking her cheesemaking classes. Having finished her coursework, she is now spending several hundred hours at the Babcock dairy processing plant, working with Master Cheesemaker Gary Grossen and learning how to make several different types of cheese. At the end of it, she'll take a test, and if she passes, will be one of only a handful of female Wisconsin licensed cheesemakers.

Kara began her blog just two weeks ago, so it's easy to catch up on her experiences. My favorite one so far has to be the account of her first day, an amusing story describing what she thought would be a simple quest in finding appropriate clothing that would fit her.

If you're interested in what it takes to become a cheesemaker, I'd highly recommend Kara's blog. It's a good read. You go girl!

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