LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - She's only the second woman to achieve this prestigious certification, in this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News, meet the newest female Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker, Pam Hodgson.
Becoming a cheesemaker in Wisconsin takes a while, but for many dedicated individuals, becoming a master at their craft is well worth the wait.
"It feels like it's taken forever to accomplish it. I got my cheesemakers license in 1996 and I've been working in the dairy industry my entire life, so at this point, it's…it reflects steady work over a long period of time,"says Pam, Master Cheesemaker of Sartori Foods.
That steady work and dedication to crafting quality cheese, along with completion of rigorous coursework and evaluation, have garnered Pam Hodgson Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certification in Fontina and Hard Cheese.
"I did not have a career path to become a cheesemaker, I stumbled into it. But as I started to make cheese, I realized how much I very much enjoy it," explains Pam.
Although she may not have intended to become a cheesemaker, there is a bit of cheesemaking history in her family.
"My maternal grandfather, George Hintz went through the original dairy school at the University of Wisconsin, and he graduated in 1916 and he was an award-winning cheesemaker and he prided himself in making state brand cheese," Pam says.
Pam proudly accepted her awards from her two children at the recent Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association Awards banquet held in La Crosse. Although she's only the second woman to receive her Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certification, Pam remains humble about it.
"I believe it's part of what I was made to do, it helps me feel good or feel whole!" Pam says that no matter what kind of day she's having, if she's making cheese, it's always a good day! Pam's daughter is also interested in making cheese, so there's hope that the legacy of cheesemaking could live on in her family.
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