Expert cheesemaker shares techniques


CLARION, Pa. — Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council will cosponsor a three-day cheesemaking training course available to those interested in learning how to produce farmstead cheese for retail sale.

The course will be held June 17-19 at Trinity Church in Mercer, Pa. This hands-on training course will feature both classroom discussion and actual cheesemaking instruction from Melanie Dietrich Cochran, a well-known cheesemaker from Keswick Creamery in Newburg, Pa.

Class description

According to Wes Ramsey, Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development coordinator, “This three-day class is designed for novice cheesemakers. Melanie will teach participants about the milk quality, ingredients used in cheese making, processes for making a variety of cheeses, techniques and requirements for aging cheese, and how to establish a business as a farmstead or artisan cheese maker.

“This is a hands-on class, which gives participants an opportunity to make several kinds of cheese. Melanie will also present short lectures to provide an understanding of basic milk and cheese chemistry, the art of aging cheese and how to design and operate a cheesemaking business.”

Due to the hands-on nature of the training course, the class size is limited to 20 students.


The tuition fee for the training course is $275 per student, but residents of the eight northwestern Pennsylvania counties (Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, and Warren) comprising the Penn Soil area are eligible to apply for the Susan McCorkle Memorial Scholarship, which may reimburse successful applicants up to 50 percent of the cost of attending.

For more information, contact Dianna Hendrick at 814-226-8160, ext. 192, or via e-mail at


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