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MEDIA ADVISORY: Celebrating the Big Cheese

Artisan cheese makers showcase art of making cheese at MU

April 2nd, 2010

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

WHAT: University of Missouri researchers from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will host one business expert and two experienced cheese makers, who will demonstrate techniques for making artisan cheeses from the Alps and Northern Italy. Attendees include Missouri cheese makers looking to expand their product line or people who are considering starting a cheese-making business. A business expert familiar with the marketing of specialty cheeses will discuss business planning.

WHO: Instructors include:

Neville McNaughton — McNaughton has been a cheese maker since 1974. He is a graduate of Massey University with a degree in dairy technology. Experienced in exotic cheese manufacturing, McNaughton co-founded Kapiti Cheeses Ltd (New Zealand) in 1983. He established CheezSorce, LLC in 2001. He is a dairy business innovation center contractor, a board member of the American Cheese Society, and an international and domestic cheese judge.

Brian Civitello — Civitello has traveled extensively to study Italy’s diverse cheese-making systems. His experiences with specialty cheese producers include parmigianino reggiano, gorgonzola and tallegio. He has worked for industry greats like Rogue Creamery and Calabro Cheese, netting seven top 3 finishes in national competitions in just three years. He holds degrees in resource economics and agribusiness management from the University of Connecticut. He consults for Cheezsorce.

Ann Wilkinson — Wilkinson provides business planning expertise to emerging food companies. Prior to consulting, Wilkinson served as product manager for two major meat companies and as a research economist for one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives. She holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, April 2.

WHERE: 103 Eckles Hall (Buck’s Ice Cream Place), on the University of Missouri campus.