Educational Opportunities

Food Safety Basics for Artisan Cheesemakers / Ongoing

By Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Online self-paced courses on Good Manufacturing Practices and How to Identify Hazards & Risks For Beginners. Offered to Washington Cheesemakers by Washington Dairy Farmers as an in-kind match for our USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant award.

Registration open now.  / $49; free to WASCA members with code

Vat Pasteurizer Workshop / Ongoing

By Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The course consists entirely of online self-paced content and is for individuals who have responsibility for operating the vat pasteurizer or for those thinking of starting a new small-scale business. The key components of vat pasteurization include the importance of pasteurization, pasteurizer construction, thermometer requirements, chart recorders, raw milk quality, and pasteurizer cleaning and maintenance. This course has rolling admission. You may begin the course once your registration and payment are confirmed. Participants have 4 weeks to complete the course, either at home or at their facility. Registrations are accepted at any time.

2024 WAFFP Annual Conference / September 12-13, 2024

By Washington Association for Food protection

The Washington Association for Food Protection is a non-profit association dedicated to providing our members with a forum to educate and discuss the latest technologies and advancements toward the assurance of a safe, affordable food supply.  Prior to September 2000 we were known as the Washington Milk, Food & Environmental Association.  In 1951, we became an affiliate of what is now known as the International Association for Food Protection.  They were founded in 1911 and have been instrumental in the development and promotion of food safety worldwide.

Each Fall, we present our WAFFP Annual Conference to provide the forum to have access to the latest technical and scientific information and timely coverage of the latest topics of concern.  It is the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with fellow food safety professionals.  Our conference attendees include professionals in quality assurance, processing, regulatory, consulting, risk management, research & development, microbial research, plant management, technical services, material & equipment experts, allied suppliers, food growers, academia, and experts on the latest methods and technologies.

Campbell’s Resort (104 W. Woodin Ave, Chelan, WA 98816) / $213.49

Grants & Funding Opportunities
Business Resources
  • USDA REAP Grant Award Program : Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants
  • Local and Regional Food Systems Response to COVID : Webinar series on business topics relevant local food producers and organizations
  • Edible Alpha : Financial training and resources for making money in food.

  • NWIRC Northwest Innovation Resource Center : The NWIRC is a strategic partner for innovators – entrepreneurs and inventors – to help bring their ideas to life.

  • NABC Northwest Agriculture Business Center : NABC helps farmers establish new enterprises, and helps make existing businesses more profitable, by providing business feasibility, planning and implementation guidance, connections to markets and capital, and access to resources.

  • Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County: The Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County carries out business attraction, retention and expansion and collaborative engagement to achieve a prosperous, sustainable and equitable community while maintaining Skagit County’s natural beauty and quality of life.
  • Small Business Administration/ SCORE mentorships : The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. SCORE volunteers work with the SBA to provide small business mentoring and training to entrepreneurs through SBA offices.

  • Specialty Food Association Learning Center: The SFA is a membership-based trade association founded in 1952 and currently representing 3,500+ businesses. The SFA vision is to “Shape the Future of Food.” Our members are specialty food artisans, purveyors, importers and entrepreneurs, as well as distributors, retailers, and others involved in the specialty food trade.

Farming Resources
Cheesemaking Resources
Nutrition Resources
Past Presentations

Nathan Stacey, “Popular Farming Concepts and their Link to Dairies.” Presented at WASCA Annual Member Meeting. January 21, 2022.

Courtney C. Johnson, “Introduction to Our 2021 USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant Award.” Presented at WASCA Annual Member Meeting. January 21, 2022.

Daniel Wing. “Educational Webinar on Food Safety and Testing for the Washington State Cheesemakers Association.” Presented in an online webinar. September 20, 2021.

Gigi Berardi, “Washington Cheese Challenges and Opportunities in Making and Selling Sustainable and Delicious Cheese. FoodWise Stories and Science: Cultivating Customers.” Presented at WASCA Annual Member Meeting. January 29, 2021.

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