The 2022 CheeseExpo, which will take place April 12-14 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, will feature more industry education seminars and workshops to match a record number of exhibits for dairy processors. Attendees who register at by Feb. 1 will get a 20% percent discount on full registration rates, said the event’s hosts, the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA).

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) will add their expertise to the seminar lineup on the mornings of April 13 and 14, followed by afternoons to explore over 600 exhibits of dairy processing and packaging equipment, automation, ingredients, software and services, said CDR and WCMA.

Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC, will moderate the RELCO Opening Keynote on April 13. Harden will lead a panel of industry executives exploring opportunities for U.S. dairy processors to advance international sales and sustainability efforts, the Madison, Wis.-based hosts said.

Four breakout education sessions will follow, including a cheese and whey export seminar with USDEC staff. DFW will examine domestic opportunities for value-added cheese sales, and CDR will unveil “hot topics” in dairy research — five recently-completed cheese research projects. Finally, the popular “artisan track” will focus on value-added cheese production and advanced technology available in the new CDR building on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus, WCMA and CDR said.

WCMA closes the morning of April 13 with an invitation to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to address a general session of CheeseExpo.

April 14 opens with celebration: the WCMA Recognition Breakfast exclusively sponsored by DSM Food Specialties, the hosts said. The Wisconsin Center banquet hall will fill as attendees seek to applaud industry leaders for outstanding careers, including the WCMA Distinguished Service Award for supplier partners; WCMA Cheese Industry Champion for dairy leaders; WCMA Babcock Award for top educators; WCMA Vanguard Award for innovative cheesemakers; WCMA Life Member Award for service to the association and its members; and a new honor, the WCMA Luminary Award for sales and marketing leaders.

Four educational opportunities will follow the WCMA Recognition Breakfast. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will partner with CDR to discuss dairy product safety and sanitation, including a talk and panel on establishing a food safety culture in a dairy plant. WCMA will focus on a key concern among processors: recruiting and retaining an effective workforce. CDR, meanwhile, plans a “hot topics” session on cheese quality, including brine management, phage monitoring and control, and flavor defects in cheddar cheese. Finally, WCMA and CDR said they will team up for a workshop on creating an effective cheese grading program at manufacturing sites.

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