Make plans to join us for the nation’s largest cheese, butter and whey industry event!

April 17-18, 2019

Alliant Energy Center
Madison, Wisconsin

About CIC

A gathering of over 2,400 cheese industry leaders, suppliers, marketers and more will gather to share information about the latest in cheese technology, new products, whey opportunities, product safety, marketing and additional issues affecting our industry. Your hosts Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) promise an exciting event.
The Cheese Industry Conference is nation’s premier cheese, butter and whey industry event! Don’t miss it!

Madison, WI

Madison is an eclectic mix of cultures from college town to capitol. Besides boasting natural beauty and outdoor recreation, Madison plays host to stimulating cultural offerings, distinctive restaurants, excellent music venues, and unique shopping.  There’s also plenty of public transit, including green options like hybrid buses and cabs.  Make the most of your stay!

Tabletop Exhibits

Wednesday April 17 | 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Cheese Industry Conference Tabletop Exhibit Hall serves as dairy processors’ one-stop source for the best in supplies and services, from packaging to financing to equipment. View the Exhibitor Floorplan and start planning the list of exhibitors who are top on your list!

Event Schedule 2019

All events will take place at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin.

Noon to 7:00 PMRegistration Services Open

Location: Alliant Energy Center Lobby

3:00 PM to 5:00 PMPre-Conference Event: Workforce Connections Mixer

Meet the industry’s next generation at WCMA’s Workforce Connections mixer!  Dairy processors and manufacturers will highlight job opportunities, and students will share their resumes.  To learn more, contact WCMA today.

7:00 PM to 10:00 PMPre-Conference Event: WCMA Young Professionals

Dairy’s next generation gathers to plot the overthrow of the dairy industry – or just shoot some pool. Check your ID – you must be 40 or younger to join in.

Location: The Brass Ring Bar and Restaurant, 701 E Washington Ave, Madison.

7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Registration Services Open

Location: Alliant Energy Center Lobby

8:00 to 8:45 a.m.Opening Keynote Address

Opening Keynote Address

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Chris McChesney

In a marketplace where retaining and motivating employees is paramount, Chris McChesney has the answers. Chris, Global Practice Leader of Execution for FranklinCovey, co-developed The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and co-wrote the best-selling book by the same name. Chris has worked directly with Dr. Stephen Covey and is now general manager of FranklinCovey, a global consultancy for strategic execution. “Teach people how to push the envelope on execution, and enthusiasm and engagement naturally blossoms,” Chris told WCMA.  Kickoff your Cheese Industry Conference with this high-energy education in business execution.

Hosted by RELCO

Location: Exhibit Hall A

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9:00 to 10:30 a.m.Concurrent Sessions - Dry Dairy Foods Safety - Panel & Best Practices

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will convene an expert panel to address best practices in food safety for whey and other dairy product drying operations. Topics will include sanitation, design considerations, environmental monitoring, and an end user (customer) perspective.

Hosted by Innovation Center

Location: Mendota 1-2


9:00 to 10:30 a.m.Concurrent Sessions - Delving into Quality Swiss Cheese Production

Center for Dairy Research experts and European guest speakers will explore opportunities for improvement in Swiss cheese in the U.S. as well as innovations in Swiss cheese styles.  Manufacturers, marketers and processors will find value in this focus on Swiss.  Includes:

  • Basic principles of quality Swiss manufacturer
  • Latest research on adjuncts, starters and more for Swiss

Hosted by CDR

Location: Mendota 3-4

9:00 to 10:30 a.m.Concurrent Sessions - Essential Principles of Cheesemaking

This back-to-basics look at cheesemaking is useful to artisan and cheesemaking entrepreneurs, but any and all manufacturers are welcome to this Center for Dairy Research cheesemaking refresher. Includes:

  • How to establish and maintain a starter culture program
  • Controlling moisture and acidity during the cheese make process
  • How and when to measure moisture and acidity

Hosted by CDR

Location: Monona/Wingra Rooms (Second Floor)

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest

Watch the action: Dairy students from colleges across the U.S. compete for top honors in assessing several dairy product categories. Visit the next generation of dairy industry leaders at the Cheese Industry Conference.

Hosted by Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.Spouse Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Madison’s Capitol Square. Includes Tour of Madison Capitol; Three Course Lunch paired with beer flight at the The Great Dane, Cheese Board Class with Executive Chef at Madison Concourse Hotel, Mini Milkshakes at DLUX, and history and architecture sprinkled throughout the afternoon.

Location: Depart from Registration Desk

10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.CIC Tabletop Expo

Our largest Tabletop Expo ever includes 297 companies offering cutting-edge equipment, software, automation, ingredients, and services. One afternoon only so click here to plan your visits!

Location: Exhibit Hall

10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Complimentary Lunch

A delicious complimentary lunch is available as you explore the CIC Tabletop Expo.

Hosted by WCMA

Location: Exhibit Hall A

12:30 to 1:00 p.m.Recognition for WCMA Education Program Graduates

WCMA will recognize 2019 graduates of the WCMA Education Programs.

Hosted by WCMA

Location: Exhibit Hall A

12:30 to 4:30 p.m.Ideas Showcase

Concise 15-minute presentations from industry supply partners showcase the latest technology and innovations in the dairy industry.

Location: Exhibit Hall

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.Collegiate Contest Awards Ceremony

Students and teams earn awards for their dairy grading skill on stage in the exhibit hall.  Listen for the cheering!

Hosted by Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest

Location: Exhibit Hall

5:00 to 7:00 p.m.Chr. Hansen Reception & Auction of Champion Cheeses

Chr. Hansen Reception & Auction of Champion Cheeses

Chr. Hansen hosts a highlight of the Conference. Energetic and fun, this reception features the Auction of gold-medal cheeses, butters and more from the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. Grab a bidding paddle and support WCMA industry training programs, scholarships and our ongoing support for dairy universities.

Hosted by Chr. Hansen

Location: Exhibit Hall

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7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.Registration Services Open

Location: Alliant Energy Center Lobby

8:00 to 9:15 a.m.WCMA Recognition Breakfast

All Conference attendees are invited to celebrate the achievements of industry greats.  WCMA honors leaders, cheesemakers, suppliers and educators that have built the U.S. cheese industry.

Hosted by WCMA

Location: Hall A

9:30 to 11:45 a.m.Concurrent Sessions- USDEC Presents Buyers & Opportunities for Global Cheese Sales

Current Program for Value-Added Cheesemakers

U.S. Dairy Export Council will present current programs in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Japan in and other markets focused on sales of U.S. specialty cheeses and building awareness among consumers and opinion leaders in those markets.

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m. 

Location: Mendota 1


Global Cheese Buyer Panel

USDEC will share the stage with cheese buyers from key markets who will explain their interests and needs from U.S. cheese manufacturers.  Don’t miss it!”

Hosted by USDEC logo

Time: 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Location: Mendota 1

9:30 to 11:45 a.m.Concurrent Session - Latest Research in Pathogen Control

Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will bring the nation’s leading researchers in food safety to deliver findings in control of Listeria in dairy products and dairy plant environments.

Hosted by Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Location: Mendota 2

9:30 to 11:45 a.m.Concurrent Sessions - CDR: Better Cheddar and Mastering Microfiltration

Quality Improvements for 640-lb Cheddar Block Production

Center for Dairy Research experts will focus on recent findings to assist industry with ingredients and procedures to produce the best possible 640-lb block cheddar.

Hosted by CDR

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Location: Mendota 3


New Applications of Membrane Technology in Cheesemaking

CDR is the nation’s leader in supporting microfiltration of milk for use in quality cheesemaking.  Learn the latest about this opportunity.

Hosted by CDR

Time: 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Location: Mendota 3

9:30 to 11:45 a.m.Concurrent Sessions - Dairy’s Future: Sanitary Plant Design, Artificial Intelligence & the Industrial Internet

Best Practices in Plant Design & Sanitation

Center for Dairy Research experts and industry guests will discuss the future of plant design to achieve optimal sanitation, product flow and safe food handling.

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Location: Mendota 4


Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain & Industrial Internet: The Future is Here

Industry experts will offer a primer on the internet-driven, data-management concepts that are driving productivity and connectivity in industrial manufacturing.  Learn the language of the concepts that are now, and will continue to, transform the dairy industry.

Hosted by CDR logo and WCMA

Time:10:45-11:45 a.m.
Location: Mendota 4

9:30 to 11:45 a.m.Concurrent Sessions- Tools for FSMA Compliance and Process Improvement

Intentional Adulteration – What Artisans Need to Know

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin provides an overview of this Food Safety Modernization Act regulation, insight into the guidance document, tips on vulnerability assessments, and resources to help develop a robust food defense plan. A seminar designed for industry novices and experts.

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.  
Location: Monona/Wingra Rooms (Second Floor)


Quality Tools for Artisans

CAPA, RCA, DOE, FMEA – DFW takes on this alphabet soup to provide artisans with tools and resources that they can use to drive product and process improvements throughout their business – from the vat to the sales counter.

Hosted by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Time: 10:45-11:45 a.m. 
Location: Waubesa/Kegonsa Rooms (Second Floor)

12:00 to 1:15 p.m.Complimentary Lunch

Enjoy lunch while learning about Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and the latest update on construction of the new Center for Dairy Research at Babcock Hall in Madison.

Hosted by WCMA

Location: Exhibit Hall A

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.Interactive Workshop - Option 1: Cheese & Butter Grading Clinic

Taste and professionally evaluate cheeses and butters with expert judges from the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.

Hosted by WCMA

Location: Monona/Wingra Rooms (Second Floor)

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.Interactive Workshop - Option 2: Ask the Cheese Expert

Center for Dairy Research staff will meet individually with manufacturers to discuss cheese quality or performance issues, food safety questions, ingredient ideas and more.   A limited number of these private, 30-minute meetings are available; see on-line registration for details.

Hosted by CDR

Location: Monona/Wingra Rooms (Second Floor)

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.GEA Champions Reception

GEA Champions Reception

GEA hosts an elegant opening affair as winners gather to celebrate success in the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.

Hosted by GEA

5:30 to 8:00 p.m.U.S. Champions Awards Banquet

A night to remember for dairy craftsmen from across the nation.  Expect a more brisk affair as we focus on the winners whose hard work has paid off with national acclaim. A must attend for everyone with a passion for the dairy industry.

Location: Exhibit Hall A

8:30 PM to MidnightCybertrol Engineering Afterglow Reception

Cybertrol Engineering Afterglow Reception

Cybertrol Engineering hosts a joyful afterparty for Contest winners and guests.  Relax and enjoy music and treats as we close the 2019 Cheese Industry Conference.

Hosted by Cybertrol Engineering

Location: Sheraton Hotel Ballroom

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