(Earned his Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certificate in 1999)
The day often begins at 3:20 a.m. for Kerry Henning, whose responsibilities at Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese, based in Kiel, Wisconsin, include preparing ingredients for cheesemaking, packaging cheese and giving facility tours to visitors from around the world. Henning entered his undergraduate studies intending to pursue a degree in accounting until he met his wife and reevaluated his plans for the future. Eventually following in his family’s footsteps, Henning became a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker certified in cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack—the cheeses his parents made at the family plant. His favorite part of his work, he says, is the satisfaction and accomplishment he feels when people in the food industry express their appreciation for his product and share how they’ve used it. Looking back on his Master Cheesemaker training, Henning fondly remembers the camaraderie among students and the opportunity to discuss their trade. “Some of your best education comes from the hotel lobby bar once class is over,” Henning says.