Sterling College Launches Artisan Cheese Program


Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, Vt., has announced the launch of a two-week short course in artisan cheesemaking. This intensive program will be offered in partnership with the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vt. The first course will be held from January 13-26, 2014.

The program, led by world-renowned master cheesemaker and educator Ivan Larcher, is designed to provide students the practical and scientific knowledge involved in creating small-scale artisan cheese. Students will learn the full process of cheesemaking, from milk production, lactic technology, and coagulants, to salting, tasting, ripening, and cheese quality.

At workshops offered on the Sterling College campus, at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, and at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, Vt., students will also learn about the business of cheesemaking, sales and distribution, and marketing. The program will also include visits to local producers, and an overview of the history of cheesemaking in Vermont, and their influence on local food systems.

"Sterling has a long tradition of short courses that serve the needs of students in the Northeast Kingdom," said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. "Our new artisan cheese program will both serve Vermont and bring students from around the world to learn more about our dynamic artisan food system and local focus on sustainable agriculture."

Mateo Kehler, master cheesemaker, affineur, and co-owner of Jasper Hill Farm, said, "Both Jasper Hill and Sterling College are passionate about cheese and artisan culture. We want to give hands-on classes in cheesemaking and also work with people interested in moving our food system in a much more responsible direction."

Derr continued, "The opportunity for Sterling College to work with Jasper Hill and the Center for an Agricultural Economy will provide yet another link between Vermont higher education, nonprofits, and businesses focused on the health of our state's food system. This collaboration is an important example of how we can build bridges between our worlds in an effort to serve students."

Larcher said, "I wish to work with students to help build their cheesemaking future. My love of cheesemaking is matched by my passion to pass on vital cheesemaking knowledge. I am truly looking forward to the opportunity to again link my teaching and work in France with that of my colleagues in Vermont."

Future continuing education short courses across the Sterling College curriculum are under development for 2014 - 2015. For more information on the college and its mission of environmental stewardship and future continuing education opportunities, please visit