Set your own milk price by making cheese and marketing it instead


Hello, dairy farmers. OSU Extension is saying cheese again!

OSU Extension is sponsoring a three-day basic cheese making course geared for local dairy, sheep, or goat milk producers.

Back by demand. This course has been offered six times in Ohio with great results. Peter Dixon, one of the nation’s premier cheese making instructors, will be traveling back to Ohio this spring to teach a workshop on April 26-28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

This workshop will be held at the Grindstone Creek Lodge at 4-H Camp Whitewood in Windsor, Ohio.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get practical hands-on experience in cheese making.

Veteran cheese maker

Dixon operates the Center for Farmstead Milk Processing in Vermont where he teaches a variety of workshops for farmstead cheese makers. He was born and raised on a dairy farm and in the 1980s began making artisan cheeses for the family’s cheese company.

Dixon has a great deal of experience in establishing small-scale cheese operations, has experience as cheese quality control manager, has consulted with international cheese making developmental programs, and has developed food safety programs for two Vermont cheese operations.

He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Vermont in animal and food sciences.


This course, “Hands-on Basic Cheese Making: Enhancing Dairy Profitability with Cheese,” is packed with information and hands-on practice.

During this course, participants will learn about milk quality, the ingredients used in cheese making, the processes for making a variety of cheeses, techniques for aging cheese, and tips for establishing farmstead cheese business.

The heart of this workshop is the hands-on opportunity for participants to make a number of cheeses themselves. Depending on the interests of the class, participants could make the following cheeses: Paneer, Gouda, Havarti, Lactic, Tomme, Ricotta, and fresh Mozzarella


The registration fee for this workshop is $450 per person and includes course tuition, handout resource materials, all workshop supplies, lunches, and refreshments.

An optional evening creamery tour will be held on Tuesday evening of the workshop.

For participants who live in our Western Reserve Extension Education and Research Area counties (Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Trumbull, Portage, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Medina or Summit Counties), a registration discount is available.

Registration will be accepted on a first-come, first served basis until April 1. Registration will be limited to 15 people.


Registrants will be able to stay overnight at 4-H Camp Whitewood in Windsor, Ohio, in southwest Ashtabula County.

Participants are encouraged to rent a cabin at 4-H Camp Whitewood and save the gas on driving to class every day. Both private and nonprivate cabins are available.

There is not a prettier place on earth than 4-H Camp Whitewood.

I hope many of our local farmers think about enrolling. This course could increase profitability as the market is clamoring for local cheeses. Farmstead and artisan cheese operations can allow farm families to become price-makers instead of price takers for their milk.

The graduates of our earlier courses are really making progress with their cheese making ventures, with one couple already opening their own cheese house.

If you are interested in this program, contact Abbey Averill at the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008 or by e-mail at


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David Marrison is an associate professor and Extension educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension. He can be reached at 740-622-2265 or



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