Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and Center for Dairy Research (CDR) officials today announced new partnerships with the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to deliver more diversity and depth of programming than ever before at the 2018 International Cheese Technology Expo (ICTE), set for April 17-19,2018, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

ICTE 2018 seminars will explore five main themes: challenges in global trade, pathogen control and food safety, cheese quality issues and solutions, growth opportunities in specialty cheese, and a focus on whey and dairy proteins, WCMA said.

“The ICTE’s reputation is grounded in its technical programming, offering educational opportunities for everyone in the industry,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA’s executive director. “We’ll have timely information for industry leaders and marketers, safety professionals and cheesemakers, and HR professionals and supervisors.”

ICTE 2018 will also feature two workshop tracks with limited attendance. The Artisan Track will offer specialty cheesemakers talks on Food Safety Modernization Act regulations and milk analytics, as well as provide the unique opportunity to make fresh cheeses with Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers and CDR experts at Clock Shadow Creamery.

The Workforce Track will address pressing labor concerns, WCMA said, with speakers focused on performance feedback and talent development, the management of generational diversity and an industry-specific wage and benefits analysis.

Beyond the seminars, ICTE 2018 will showcase the latest technology and services from 295 companies in its largest-ever exhibit hall. As always, dairy manufacturers and processors will enjoy free access to exhibits, as well as complimentary lunches and receptions.

Attendees can also watch as students from across the United States compete in the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest, WCMA said.

Networking will be a key element of ICTE 2018. WCMA’s Young Professionals will gather April 17, and all are welcome at Tetra Pak’s opening reception later that evening. The Chr. Hansen Reception and Auction of Championship Cheeses on April 18 will be a highlight benefiting WCMA scholarship and education programs, WCMA noted, while the next morning WCMA’s Recognition Breakfast will honor the leaders that have made this industry great. The event will end with the Champions Awards Banquet on April 19 for the World Championship Cheese Contest and closing reception courtesy of Millerbernd Systems.

“ICTE 2018 connects you with the people you need to know to create better products, streamline your business processes, maximize your workforce, and reach new consumers,” said Judy Keller, WCMA events director. It’s more seminars and more exhibits than ever, at a price that’s a tremendous value.”

For more information, visit www.CheeseExpo.org.