Kerry Henning, Master Cheesemaker
Certified Master Cheese Maker, Kerry Henning, continues the family tradition of cheesemaking that his father Everett & grandfather Otto started many years ago. As a young boy, Kerry worked alongside his father, Everett, learning the art of cheesemaking and received his cheesemakers license at the age of 20. To elevate his craft to the next level, Kerry earned his master’s degree in Cheddar in 1999, his master’s degree in Colby in 2002 and his master’s degree in Monterey Jack in 2002. Over the years, Kerry has won numerous awards in the United States Cheese Competition and the World Cheese Competition. Kerry continues to use his craft to create innovative flavors that push the boundaries of cheesemaking while focusing on the traditional style of making cheese. Kerry is dedicated to passing along his knowledge & passion to the next generation.
Only In Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program is the only one of its kind outside of Europe. For cheesemakers, it provides the opportunity to reach the highest levels of their craft. For buyers, it provides unparalleled quality assurance, innovation and expertise.
How It Works
Administered by the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the program is open to veteran Wisconsin cheesemakers with a minimum of 10 years experience in Quality Assured plants. Candidates can seek certification for up to two cheese varieties each time they enter the three-year program. They must have been making those specific varieties for at least five years. Only certified Master Cheesemakers are eligible to use the Master’s Mark® on their product.
- Participants must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years experience working at a plant which participates in the Quality Assurance Program.
- Made the cheese variety for which they seek certification for at least five years.
- Complete required courses in cheese technology, artisanship, grading and quality assurance.
- Complete a list of elective courses in Cheese technology, Cheese Artisanship, Cheese Grading, Quality Assurance, Applied Dairy Chemistry and more.
- Participate in a three-year apprenticeship during which time he or she must submit samples of cheese for evaluation of quality and consistency.
- Pass a rigorous final written examination which could take up to 40 hours to complete.
- Yearly evaluations to see if you are staying up to the level required by the course.
Look for either the Master Mark or the statement “Crafted by Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker” for your assurance that you are buying the highest quality cheese.
Meet Our Other Cheesemakers
Mike Cieslewicz received his cheese making license in 2010 and has worked for Henning’s Cheese since 2001. He has worked in every part of the cheese making process from start up to sanitation to shipping and receiving. Mike is a dedicated employee who continues to offer his knowledge and expertise to all who work with him. He is never afraid to try something new and is committed to the high standards set forth by Henning’s Cheese to make consistent high-quality cheese.
Joshua Henning has been working full time at Henning’s Cheese since 2014. Earning his cheese makers license in May of 2014, Joshua now joins the Henning family as a fourth-generation licensed cheesemaker. Joshua graduated from UW-River Falls after serving 4 years in the United States Marine Corp. Joshua has worked in all areas of the cheese making process and now oversees the day to day plant operations. Joshua is a dedicated employee who is working on refining his craft to continue the legacy left by his great grandfather Otto, grandfather Everett & uncle Kerry.
Zachary Henning has been working at Henning’s Cheese full time since 2014. Zachary earned his cheese makers license in May 2018 and now joins the Henning family as a fourth-generation licensed cheesemaker. Zachary graduated from Lakeshore Technical College in 2018 with a degree in Food Manufacturing and Processing. Zachary works in several areas of production including maintenance, sanitation and cheesemaking. Zachary works to refine his craft to join the cheesemaking legacy left by his great grandfather Otto, grandfather Everett & father Kerry.
Sam Barbercheck has been working at Henning’s Cheese as a startup cheesemaker since February of 2022. He received his cheese makers license in August of 2020. He brings fresh perspective to his roll here at Henning’s and is eager to learn all aspects of the cheesemaking process. Sam is a dedicated employee that strives to refine his craft and is committed to the high-quality standards set forth by Henning’s Cheese.