The National Cheese Institute, Washington, D.C., is now accepting nominations for its highest honor, the NCI Laureate Award. The award winner will be recognized during the International Dairy Foods Association’s (IDFA) Dairy Forum 2018, which will be held Jan. 21-24, 2018, at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, Calif. Nominations must be submitted by Oct. 20, 2017, and there is no fee to enter.

Candidates should be business or academic leaders who have made significant, prolonged contributions to the development and growth of the cheese industry, IDFA said. The award recipient is selected by a panel of industry professionals based on the nominee's overall career achievements.

“Behind the U.S. cheese industry’s history of continued growth and success are talented leaders who have devoted their lives to perfecting the craft and promotion of cheesemaking,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA’s president and CEO. “With this award, we're looking to celebrate an individual who has shaped the industry with outstanding accomplishments and contributions.”

Past award winners have ranged from cheese company founders and marketers to dairy microbiologists, the association noted. This year's winner will receive free registration, airfare and hotel accommodations to IDFA's Dairy Forum 2018.

For more information, contact Tracy Boyle, IDFA director of boards, employee relations and administrative services, at, or download the nomination form.