A woman developing a farmstead goat cheese plant who plans to nurture the next generation of future cheesemakers is the recipient of the 2011 Wisconsin Licensed Cheesemaker Scholarship.

Rose Boero, a nurse and dairy goat breeder in Custer, Wis., was selected from a field of applicants for the $2,500 annual award from Wisconsin Cheese Originals. In pursuing her cheesemaker’s license, Boero has already purchased a small pasteurizer and cheese vat and is apprenticing at Willow Creek Cheese, owned by Union Star Cheese in Fremont. She is developing plans to build her own cheese plant at her dairy goat farm, where she and her husband have raised Toggenburg dairy goats for 23 years.

“When I turned 56, I thought it was time to make a ‘bucket’ list,” Boero said. “I’ve been making and giving away cheese to family and friends for years, and thought I can either turn 60 with a cheesemaker’s license, or without a cheesemaker’s license. I decided to make it with a cheesemaker’s license.”

After using the scholarship money to earn her cheesemaker license, Boero is especially interested in nurturing the upcoming generation of cheese enthusiasts. She plans to invite youth to visit her farm and learn cheesemaking. “I already know some of these young people who are just waiting for an opportunity. If I can teach enough youth how it is done, then I will actually be much larger than my own venture,” Boero said.

Boero is a native of Kimberly, Wis., and received a bachelor’s degree in Education from UW-Stevens Point. Soon after, she earned her Licensed Practical Nurse degree and has worked in the health field for years, while maintaining the family dairy goat farm. She plans to craft aged goat’s milk cheeses to sell in Wisconsin and will offer custom cheese production for local dairy farmers looking to add value to their milk.

A five-person scholarship committee made up of industry leaders and cheesemakers selected  Boero out of a field of eight highly-qualified applicants for the Wisconsin Cheese Originals scholarship.

The $2,500 award is funded through membership fees and Wisconsin Cheese Originals event proceeds. Last year’s cheesemaker scholarship winner, Katie Hedrich, was named the 2011 U.S. Champion Cheesemaker in March for her farm-based cheese, Evalon. Thanks to all Wisconsin Cheese Originals members for helping these cheesemakers launch their businesses!

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