Ronald D. Bardwell, Morgan, Johnny W. | 4/19/2005 10:29:23 PM
The LSU AgCenter is one of the sponsors of a Specialty Cheese Symposium to be held June 1 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Business Center in Hammond.
LSU AgCenter area dairy agent Ronnie Bardwell said the event is designed to increase interest in cheese-making in the state.
"We are looking at this as another way to help our dairy farmers," Bardwell said.
The symposium grew from an idea of New Orleans food entrepreneur Jim Delery, who has been researching the amount of cheese that’s consumed in the New Orleans area.
"Our calculations from retailers show that approximately $1 million worth of (specialty or gourmet) cheese is sold in New Orleans every year," Delery said of the potential market, adding that most of the specialty or gourmet cheese is sold through upscale markets, wine stores and farmers markets. "What I want to show is that artisan or small-scale cheese-makers have a market to fill."
Louisiana doesn’t have any artisan cheese-makers, so the market is open for local production, Bardwell said, adding that he will provide information about dairy production in the state during the symposium.
The symposium also will include a presentation from Nevil McNaughton, a career cheese-maker from New Zealand, who will talk about his success in the "high-end cheese" market.
Other sponsors of the program include the newly formed Association of Louisiana Milk Producers, the SLU Small Business Development Center, the Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Louisiana Economic Development.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture