With the greatest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita in the United States, Vermont is a leader in producing both excellent traditional cheeses and new cheese products. UVM`s Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese (VIAC) was established in 2004 to enhance and strengthen artisan cheesemaking through research, professional and public education, and technology transfer. VIAC is the nation`s first and only comprehensive center devoted to artisan cheese. By providing education, research, technical services, and public service to increase knowledge, appreciation, and expansion of the artisan cheese industry, the Institute supports Vermont`s artisan cheese producers, contributes to the latest scientific research and expertise related to dairy and cheese products, and encourages the sustainability of the small-farm culture in Vermont and other rural landscapes nationally and internationally.
The Institute offers an array of technical and professional educational programs to strengthen and support artisan cheesemaking:
The goal of our educational programs is to provide cheesemakers with the technical and scientific knowledge needed to assure production of cheeses of consistent quality and safety. We offer cross-cultural, national and international exchange programs to share cheesemaking techniques, experiences and best practices.
A five course intensive Cheesemaking Certificate Program (CC) for prospective and experienced cheesemakers,
- An Advanced Cheesemaking Certificate Program (ACC) which offers advanced classes for those who have attained some level of proficiency in cheesemaking;
- An International Artisan Practices Program which connects visiting international experts with cheesemakers in hands-on production of Appellation D`Origine Controlee (A.O.C.) or Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) cheeses;
- A technology transfer program to provide assistance to local cheesemakers; a research agenda which, in part, examines the microbiological safety of raw milk cheeses in order to preserve raw milk cheesemaking in the U.S.
VIAC`s mission is to strengthen and enhance the artisan cheesemaking industry through scientific research, professional and public education, and technology transfer.
Advance cheesemaking through access to science and technology in order to promote and sustain Vermont`s rural working landscape, as well as rural landscapes nationally and internationally.