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.

American Cheese Society

American Cheese Society (ACS) Conference Returns

ACS has opened registration for its 2022 summer conference in Portland, Oregon. Here’s the scoop from the ACS:

Registration for Blazing the Trail for Cheese is available. Conference registration information and links  are here.

AURORA, Colo. – March 3, 2022 – After a three-year hiatus, the American Cheese Society’s Annual Conference makes its much-anticipated, in-person return this summer.

The 39th Annual Conference, “Blazing the Trail for Cheese”, will be held from July 20-23 in Portland, Oregon, with the Pacific Northwest’s own Tillamook Creamery as the event’s marquee sponsor.

“Tillamook is Oregon-made and Oregon proud, and our cooperative is thrilled to play host to professionals from the cheese industry in the Americas and, indeed, from all over the world,” Tillamook’s Denise LaBrie said. Renowned for its cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and butter, each year the cooperative releases a cheddar aged 3 years and a cheddar aged ten years under its Maker’s Reserve vintage cheddar brand.

Conference-goers will also be able to attend an awards ceremony, where the winners of the American Cheese Society’s Annual Judging and Competition (held this May in Minneapolis) will be announced.

In addition, both the ACS Certified Cheese Professional exam, and the ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator T.A.S.T.E. test, will once again be held in-person.

Other conference favorites, including Meet the Cheesemaker, Midnight Mongers, and the Cheese Crawl, will make a welcome return. More than 30 educational sessions will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with topics including:

● Philosophy Behind the Farm: A Panel of Diverse Small Ruminant Operations, featuring Kathryn Spann, Prodigal Farm and Mariana Marques de Almeida, Mrs. J & Co. along with a panel of experts
● What Grows Together Goes Together: Oregon’s Dynamic Geological History and Terroir – a
tasting session with Katie Bray, Oregon Cheese Guild; Scott Burns, Portland State University; and Jim Bernau, Willamette Valley Vineyards
● Cheese gone bad?: Microbial Challenges and Potential Solutions – a food safety and food
science session from a panel of Oregon State University scientists.

About American Cheese Society

ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. At 2,300 members strong, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development, and networking opportunities for cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts, and extended industry. ACS  strives to continually raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts the foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition in North America. ACS is a 501(c)6 nonprofit association headquartered in Denver, Colo. To learn more about ACS, please visit or contact 720-328-2788.

To read about the some of the Guild’s past experiences at this annual conference, click here.

Maine Cheese Guild contingent at the  Montreal  Conference on Day 1 of ACS 2011


Lakin’s Gorges Cheese Wins Award

Allison Lakin of  Lakin’s Gorges Cheese in Waldoboro, Maine won a Best of Class at the World Championship Cheese Contest for her Rockweed, a soft-ripened, cow’s milk square with a line of seaweed in the center.

“You’ve heard of terroir, the taste of the land—this is meroir, the taste of the sea,” says Lakin.⁠ Learn more here.