Monthly Archives: June 2021

A Small Oregon Creamery Thinks Big with Sustainability

Rogue Creamery, a small Southern Oregon artisan creamery internationally known for its award-winning handcrafted cheeses, is taking home a new recognition during June Dairy Month, by receiving the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing.

A selection of Rogue Creamery’s cheeses.

In October 2019, Rogue Creamery was rewarded for its high standards as the first-ever American cheesemaker to be named Grand Champion at the World Cheese Awards. But owner David Gremmels’ commitment to excellence extends far beyond cheesemaking to business practices that create a culture around doing the right thing.

“The food industry is a challenging environment with an ever-changing landscape. It takes passion, energy, awareness of food safety and a high level of professional business skills to understand, create and adapt,” said Cathy Strange, Vice President of Specialty, Product Development and Innovation at Whole Foods Market. “My experiences with Rogue Creamery and their owners and employees is that they are committed to represent themselves, the dairy community and United States artisan cheesemakers at the highest level.”

Founder of Rogue Creamery, David Gremmels, with cows in his pasture.

The sustainability awards program is managed by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which was established under the leadership of dairy farmers and dairy companies. For 10 years, award recipients have been recognized for their commitment to dairy sustainability with nearly 80 winners and from more than 270 nominees.

This is the fourth recognition for Oregon’s dairy community since 2017. Rogue Creamery joins Rickreall Dairy (2017), Tillamook Creamery (2018), and Threemile Canyon Farms (2020) in exemplifying award winning sustainability efforts.

The heifer barn at Rogue Creamery’s dairy.

Rogue Creamery became Oregon’s first certified B Corporation in 2014, inspiring other like-minded businesses to follow suit and pursue this rigorous certification. And since 2017, it has consistently ranked in the top 10% of B Corps worldwide for its impact on people and planet. This recognition affirms Rogue Creamery as a force for good—balancing purpose with profit and considering the broader, community-wide impact of every business decision.

As a leading proponent of renewable energy and waste reduction, Rogue Creamery has installed solar panels, reduced packaging waste, and created an employee commuter program. And, through team volunteer days, giving campaigns, sponsorships and food drives, Rogue Creamery advances core goals, which include alleviating hunger, increasing access to education, and building awareness about sustainable agriculture. Its “Cheese is Love” campaign has resulted in more than 3,500 pounds of cheese donations for those who have been impacted by fires that ravaged Southern Oregon in September 2020.

The team in front of Rogue Creamery’s marketplace in Central Point, Oregon.

“Oregon’s dairy community has long embraced the importance of sustainability,” said Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council’s Executive Director, Pete Kent. “Dairy farms, co-ops and companies recognize that their businesses can be used to exemplify sustainable choices. We are proud to have Rogue Creamery represent Oregon on the national stage this year as a standard for these efforts.”

This small creamery’s commitment to quality, sustainability and doing the right thing has substantial, sustainable impacts within its local community and beyond – enlightening partners, neighbors, and customers worldwide.

Take A Hike – But Don’t Forget the Cheese!

With warm weather and re-opened trails beckoning to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, packing up nutritious snacks and meals to take along is important. Cheese is the perfect high-protein food to throw in your backpack. With the array of hike-friendly cheeses available, even the most discerning hiker will have options to choose from.

What kind of cheese should I bring on my hike?

The next time you pack your backpack for a hike, avoid taking soft cheeses (brie, goat cheese or cream cheeses) and go for hard and dry cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda. Avoid shredding your cheese or cutting it into chunks before hiking as it speeds up the aging process and provides more chance of getting contaminated by bacteria.

How should I store my cheese?

Store your cheese in parchment paper while traveling, the porous surface allows cheese to breathe and helps in retaining it’s flavor. Replace your wrap frequently to reduce “sweating” (the process of butterfat separating from the cheese). And don’t forget to store cheese away from hot locations in your backpack and direct sun exposure.

Here’s a list of some popular dry and hard cheeses you can take with you in your backpack:

  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Gouda cheese
  • Cojita
  • Gruyère cheese
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Colby
  • Colby-Jack
  • Manchego
  • Monterey Jack
  • Edam
  • Emmental
  • Comté cheese

How do I keep cheese fresh?

A good habit to get into at home and on the trail, is to write down the date you initially stored your cheese on it’s storage container. This helps you to measure when your cheese may be past it’s prime. And if you’re backpacking for several days – keep your cheese in one block. Cutting it into pieces increases the surface area that can get contaminated by mold and bacteria.

How can you tell if your cheese is past it’s prime?

Always adhere to the 2 Hour Rule for leaving perishables out: After being in room temperature for 2 hours, always re-refrigerate hard cheeses and throw out soft cheeses.

Where can I hike with my cheese?

Anywhere! Check out Tillamook County Wellness and Travel Oregon for more ideas on hiking trails, beaches and scenic areas to visit.

Child Nutrition Culinary Workshop

Welcome to the first-ever, virtual culinary experience with Chef Jessica!  Sponsored by ODE and ODNC, school and child nutrition professionals across Oregon are invited to watch or cook along with Jessica as she prepares easy, tasty and fun recipes that meet Child Nutrition Program guidelines.

Participants receive tips for shaking up old recipes with new flavors and ideas to keep kids coming back for more.


After viewing the webinar, please complete the evaluation survey to help us meet your needs with future trainings:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y288PZ2

While supplies last, all participants who complete the evaluation survey will receive an “Undeniably Dairy” apron, as worn by Chef Jessica (with three front pockets) and a handy portable milk cooler for your organization. 


The links referenced in the recording are:

https://www.foodhero.org/kids-taste

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework of wellness

https://theicn.org/icn-resources-a-z/usda-standardized-recipes

https://foodhero.org/recipes/recipe-categories/cooking-crowd

https://healthyschoolrecipes.com/

https://odncouncil.org/schools


For more information on culinary trainings, check out Nourish Myself…Thyme for Me Webinar recording with Dayle Hayes and Chef Brenda Wattles (Certificate of Completion available).

Statewide culinary trainings and this event are sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services. Questions? Please contact Crista Hawkins: chawkins@odncouncil.org

RELATED LINKS:

STUDENTS CONNECT WITH SCHOOL NUTRITION PROFESSIONALS (VIDEO)

SCORE BIG WITH SCHOOL BREAKFAST!

WHAT WILL THE SCHOOL LUNCH OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?