Tioga County's Community Press
Tioga County's Community Press, Tioga Co., NY
Cheese Makers Get "Jump Start" from LeRaysville Cheese Factory
By Norma Eckrote

 Jim Amory, long-time owner of LeRaysville Cheese Factory in Bradford County, Pa.,  is anxious to get started with his new "JumpStart Cheese Resources" Workshops.  JumpStart Cheese Resources targets anyone with an interest in cheese making and consequent marketing of their cheeses.  This program will encompass all  aspects of the cheese business from making a raw-milk cheese to marketing and distribution of the finished product. 

 A typical workshop can take place practically anywhere including the great outdoors. It may include anywhere from two to twenty participants and might last anywhere from two to six hours depending on the involvement of the class.  At a recent workshop, while attending the PASA (Pennsylvania Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture) Conference at Penn State, Jim had over one hundred attendants. While the facilities are not important Jim would like to stay in the Tri-State area. The goal is not only to teach cheese making but also to guide and support clients through the business process as well. Workshops will demonstrate the basic and traditional tools of cheese making, and then lead into the economics and marketing prospects of this fast growing trade. Samples of cheese from students attending the workshops can be sent to Jim for lab work, analysis and, if requested, critique to help them develop their skill. 

 Jim's perspective is that he has already made all the mistakes so he can save his clients ample time by educating them on the "what not to do's". And don't think that just because the workshop has ended that you are rid of Jim.  He's likely to check in on his clients and is readily available for consultation whether you need help with recipes, marketing, record keeping or just want to bounce around ideas. He always looks forward to contact from his clients. 

 Although anyone with an interest will grasp this art quickly, a background in dairy is a great asset. Co-ops and family farms are highly encouraged to attend.  While a lot of chemistry and physics apply to this art, Jim has molded his workshops to be readily understood by anyone with a regard for cheese making.

 Jim is a great teacher and is passionate about the idea of helping someone reach a success equal to that of LeRaysville Cheese Factory. He has a deep respect and has been a great advocate for the family farm lifestyle and, more specifically, the family dairy farm.  He is an active member of PASA, where he publicly speaks out against issues that threaten today's farmers. He is also a member of the National Farmer's Union and Family Farm Defenders. With a background in engineering, mathematics, and business you might wonder why he chose cheese making as his vocation.  "I find the chemistry and physics of cheese making to be very interesting," says Jim but don't let that scare you into thinking you need a college degree to make good cheese. Remember, those who simply followed an old family recipe and had no indication that so much chemistry was at work have made great cheese for thousands of years. 

 There have been a lot of changes made at LeRaysville Cheese Factory in the twenty years since Jim became manager.  The factory was originally built and owned by the Amish community in LeRaysville. Between 1987 and 1992 when Jim finally purchased the Cheese Factory they were taking in about five thousand pounds of milk per week from local Amish dairies. It was shipped in milk cans and each thousand pounds of milk equaled the average one hundred pounds of cheese. Twenty years later, LeRaysville Cheese Factory currently takes in between twelve thousand and twenty four thousand pounds of milk weekly. While the factory now has all the modern conveniences the cheese is still made by Amish and, in fact, the factory's exclusive Amish cheese maker, David Miller, has been the recipient of numerous awards for cheeses such as Cajun Cheddar, Pennsylvania Jack and Udder Delight. 

 If you are interested in setting up and attending a workshop, contact: Jim Amory via LeRaysville Cheese Factory @ 1-800-859-5196 Initial consultation is always on the house. Workshop rate is $20per hour plus .50 1/2 cents per mile traveling expense. Lab work and analysis of cheese is $20 per sample. 

The Community Press
a free newspaper, published monthly,
serving the Tioga County, New York, area
Copyright 2008 Brown Enterprise and Marketing

The Tioga County Community Press,
your hometown community newspaper, 
is mailed to residents in
Apalachin, Owego, Campville, Nichols, Newark Valley, 
and Tioga Center in Tioga County, New York
and Little Meadows, PA

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Copyright 2008 Brown Enterprise and Marketing

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