Cheese geeks unite: the American Cheese Society is coming to town, and we need your help!

On July 31 – August 4, more than 900 cheese nerds from around the world will gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the 30th annual American Cheese Society annual conference and cheese competition. While the event is open to the public, you must be an ACS member and pay fairly hefty fees to attend. That’s why it’s mostly a trade-oriented event.

So here’s where you come in … on Saturday, Aug. 3, the signature event of the conference takes place: behold The Festival of Cheese. That’s when all – and we mean all – cheeses entered into competition are cut and sampled to an adoring crowd. Yes, that means more than 1,700 cheeses are in one room at one time. It’s a cheese coma in the making.

Tickets to the Festival of Cheese are $55 each, but you can attend for FREE, simply by volunteering for a shift during the conference or judging competition. In addition to a Festival of Cheese pass, you also get the awesome conference “Cheese Geek” t-shirt pictured above and a meal during your shift.

Most of all, you get to hang out with cheese nerds for eight hours and glean as much cheese information as your mind will absorb. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available: you can help cut and plate cheeses, help unload and sort trucks o’ cheese, help prep tables for the Saturday Festival and more. It’s your choice. Sign up here to volunteer online.

ACS Conference co-chairs Sara Hill, Bob Wills and I can’t wait to welcome you to ACS this year and hope you’ll consider volunteering. We look forward to seeing you there!