Maine Cheese Guild

Message From the Cheese Guild – Mental Health Resources

We all know that farming and life in general can be very stressful. With the recent news of yet another member of our farming and cheese making family passing as a result of taking their own life, we want to offer the resources below as a starting place for those in need. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to these folks:

• Maine’s 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-888-568-1112

• Agricultural Resources for mental health:

• Our friends at Extension have resources available for our cheesemakers: through the Maine Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network:
Helping Farmers Cope with Stress website has a number of resources listed at Cooperative Extension Help Lines  

• Facebook group Maine Farm Sitters:
They may provide potential workers. This allows you to go to appointments and take care of yourself.

• Maine Farm Bureau : They  have a disaster relief fund that  can assist farmers. You do not need to be a Farm Bureau member.

 • Maine Department of Agriculture:
Maine Farmer Wellness Fund (accepting applications through Sep 30) They distributed in amounts of $100, $250, or $500. These funds can be used to support Maine farmers and farm workers in their mental health and wellness needs.

Award Winners

2022 Maine Cheese Awards Winners

This year we had 22 creameries and over 116 cheese submitted. You can read about the judges at the end of the winners list.


1. Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm ( Sidney) Chèvre
2. York Hill Farm (Washington) – Dairy Duet
3. ChiGoBee Farm (Pownal) – Plain Chèvre
Honorable Mention:
Arkeo Farm (Sidney) – Plain Chèvre


1. Fuzzy Udder Creamery (Whitefield) – (Appleton recipe) Chevre in Oil
2. Yellow Birch farm (Deer Isle) – Garlic & Herb Chevre
3. Yellow Birch farm (Deer Isle) – Honey Lemon Chevre
Honorable Mentions:
York Hill Farm (Washington) – Garlic & Herb Dairy Duet


1. Three Charm Farm (Alfred)
2. Copper Tail (Waldoboro)
3. Flying Goat Farm (New Gloucester) Plain Chevre
Honorable Mention:
Dreamin Fahm Dairy and Creamery (Wilton)


1. Spring Day Creamery (Durham) – Out & About
2. Fuzzy Udder Creamery (Whitefield) – Waldo Smog
3. Springdale Farm (Waldo) – Triple Crème
Honorable Mention:
York Hill Farm (Washington) – iNiZio


1. Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm (Sidney) – Old Speck
2. Balfour Farm ( Pittsfield) – Cider Washed Gouda
3. Spring Day Creamery (Durham) – Mean Old Tomme
Honorable Mention:
Fuzzy Udder Creamery (Whitefield) – Cyclone


1. Balfour Farm (Pittsfield) – Pine Tree
2. Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm (Sidney) – Sugarloaf Mountain
3. Silvery Moon Creamery (Westbrook) – Fore River Tomme
Honorable Mention:
Cosmic Goat Farm & Creamery ( Litchfield)- Beltane

CHEDDAR (Flavored & Aged)

1. Balfour Farm (Pittsfield) – Cotswald
2. Pineland Farms Dairy Co. (Bangor) – 4-year Aged Cheddar
3. Pineland Farms Dairy Co. (Bangor) – 3-year Aged Cheddar
Honorable Mention:
Balfour Farm (Pittsfield) – Smokey Ghost


1. Spring Day Creamery (Durham) – Blue
2. Fuzzy Udder Creamery (Whitefield) – Polar Vortex
3. Spring Day Creamery (Durham) – Deja Blue
Honorable Mention:
Lakin’s Gorges Cheese (Waldoboro) – Cascadilla Bleu

BEST IN SHOW: The highest score cheese by the top 5 judges.

Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm (Sidney) – Old Speck
Old Speck was made in limited production with cow’s milk from Jean’s neighbor at Woodside Farms. The rind is washed with Orono Brewing Co. Tubular IPA.

The Judges

This year we had 22 creameries and over 116 cheese submitted. You can read about the contest rules and information here.

Judges Round 1 (116 Cheeses):

Sarah Gelber, 207 Foodie
Travis Kern, Nibblesford
Nikki, The Port Box Co
Jess Robb, Fruit Bat Distribution
Marie Grasser, Charcutemarie
Ron Dyer, Maine Cheese Guild
Solange Leavitt, Noisy Acres Farm

Final Round Judges (40 Cheeses):

Will Sissle, The Cheese Shop of Portland
Angie Bryan, Portland Press Herald
Gillian Britt, Eat Drink Lucky
Michael Malyniwsky, Friends & Family
Andrew Gross, Maine Tasting Center

Maine Cheese Guild

Ron Dyer Hired As Executive Director

Ron Dyer, Executive Director, Maine Cheese GuildThe Maine Cheese Guild is pleased to announce the hiring of its first Executive Director, Ron Dyer of Winthrop, Maine. Ron brings a wealth of management and technical agricultural, food safety and business experience that will help grow and support the Guilds membership. He looks forward to supporting Maine’s small and large cheese makers and creameries throughout the state, and members who sell our products or support our organization in other ways. This position was funded in part by a grant from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center.

Ron stated, “I believe this is an exciting opportunity to support and promote Maine’s incredibly talented cheese producers. These businesses are true artisan’s and represent a local, high quality and safe food for all Maine families to enjoy.”
The Maine Cheese Guild is the oldest of the American Cheesemaker Guilds, founded as an education focused not-for-profit in 2003 to support and encourage the Maine cheese making community. The Guild uses their collective voice to promote Maine cheese and cheesemakers, educate cheesemakers and consumers, coordinate resources and share the joy and art of regional cheeses. This includes workshops led by cheesemakers from around the world, Open Creamery Day across Maine in October, and our annual fall Cheese Festival and Maine Cheese Awards.

“We are so grateful to the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center for recognizing the talent of our cheesemaking community and supporting the Maine Cheese Guild mission to provide educational and technical assistance for our creameries,” said Maine Cheese Guild President Holly Aker. “Ron’s advanced food safety knowledge, expertise in agriculture, and track record of supporting small business, is exactly what we were hoping to bring to this role and to our members.”

Since 2019, Ron has owned Ledgemere Group Consulting in Winthrop Maine where he focusses on food safety and training, food business development and Environmental Health and Safety.  His past roles have included Director, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, State of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. Ron has also served as Director for Quality Assurance & Regulations within the department of agriculture. On the EHS front, Mr. Dyer has also served as a director within Maine’s state environmental agency and as a Regional Manager with Poland Spring Bottling.

Ron’s volunteer efforts include serving on the Maine Course Advisory Board, and as a mentor and assistance provider with the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, where he focuses on food producer operations and food safety.

To learn more about the Maine Cheese Guild, explore the Guild website at
To learn more about the Dairy Business Innovation Center please visit


Maine Cheese Guild’s mission is to support and encourage the Maine cheesemaking community through the development of a collective voice to promote Maine cheese and cheesemakers, educate cheese makers and consumers, coordinate resources and share the joy and art of regional cheeses.

The 2021 -2022 Board of Directors includes:
Holly Aker, Local Goods Gathered, President
Mark Whitney, Pineland Farms Dairy Co., Vice President
Eric Rector, Monroe Cheese Studio, Treasurer
Heather Donahue, Balfour Farm, Secretary
Olivia Barber, Maine Milk Maven
Beth Calder, University of Maine
Alexis Godin, Alice & Lulu’s
Jean Koons, Kennebec Cheesery
Amy Rowbottom, Crooked Face Creamery
Sarah Spring, Spring Day Creamery
Carrie Whitcomb, Springdale Farm

Find a pdf copy of this press release here.