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Missing ACS

I think most of us cheese folks are really missing the ACS conference this year. Not only because of the work that was already done — as a Judging and Competition Committee member, we did about 9 months of work for nothing — but because it’s the one time all year where we get to see each other. Wherever we go becomes Cheesetown, USA for the week. Having been to a lot of conferences over the years, I tend to use it as a week for inspiration: seeing what other folks are up to and thinking about where our efforts can really make an impact in the next year.

My first conference was either 1999 or 2000 so I thought about going back and doing a picture retrospective as a way to honor the conference and all the friends I am missing. However, my picture taking was sporadic and if I put up pics of people I know I would leave out important folks. It’s like the Thank You page in a book or liner notes… there’s no winning, only losing.

So, instead, I am sharing my collection memorable pics from ACS conferences past. Unfortunately 2006 and earlier is pre-cloud for me and those pics (including the last Portland conference) will probably remain on that broken computer hard drive forever.

Which is your favorite conference?

At the 2007 Conference in Vermont, some of the 40# blocks were sculpted in heads. I bought one for my friends who I visited in Pennsylvania after the conference. Glad I didn’t get pulled over.

In Chicago the Skyline of cheese in 2008 was epic. (This is the only photo with people in it.) We actually got to the conference a day early that year and had a Teleme party in our hotel room.

In Austin, 2009, I started my annual tradition of taking pics of the carpet at the conference hotel. Vibrant!


2010 was this Seattle? If so Seattle, your carpet was underwhelming.


2011 Where were you? Montreal? That was too $$$ for me.

2012 Raleigh. Your carpets were substandard but my technical judge Luis made this adorable cheese animal.

2013 Madison, your carpet took a backseat to fried cheese curds. I ordered fried cheese curds every night and photographed all of them. The Old Fashioned had the prettiest ones.

2014 Sacramento, you look so deceptively lush in this photo.

2015. I just kinda ducked in and out for Providence to do a book event. The only pic I I took was a room selfie to see if my shirt looked stupid.

2016 Iowa, your carpet game was tight. I actually had to choose from a few carpet photos.

2017 Denver, actually Iowa 2016, Denver’s floor game was stronger. here’s a carpet and a tile shot!

I don’t think this was a bathroom, but it could have been.

2018 Pittsburgh. I got to visit Jenny! Unfortunately I also had to spend a lot of time at the airport. This is from the airport.

2019 My best pic of carpet was also of my laundry because I was in Richmond extra early to help set up judging. No way was I going to pack for 10 nights!

2020 Boo hoo.

2021 Looking forward to visiting the Verb Center next time I go to Des Moines!