"​​​If you are a serious cheesemaker, you will want to work with Ivan somewhere along the way.

He is extraordinarily knowledgeable, for sure, but the thing that sets Ivan apart is that he is an outstanding teacher. For me, he made difficult concepts that had eluded me for years suddenly fall into place. Every time I work with him, my cheese noticeably improves.

If you really want to deeply understand the whys and hows of cheesemaking in order to better control the process and make the most of your milk, there is no one better."

-Rebecca Williams
Many Fold Farm 

The Academie MonS and Ivan Larcher have jointly organized a unique sequence of courses specifically designed for cheesemakers who want to refine their craft and learn more about maturing their cheeses.

Ivan Larcher, renowned French cheesemaking consultant, technologist and educator, teaches these 5-day practical courses at the Lycée Agricole Rochefort Montagne, France.

The courses include a mixture of in-depth theory and hands-on cheesemaking practice in the specific make styles designated for each course session. Lodging, all meals, and transportation during the course are included in the tuition.

Who is it for ?

Cheesemakers interested in:

  • Development of cheesemaking project

  • Developing/perfecting new recipes

  • Improving their craft

  • Troubleshooting problems in milk production or dairy product production

  • Expanding their product line

  • Converting from creamery to farmstead status (establishing their own herd of dairy animals in addition to their cheese make facilities)

Dairy Farmers interested in

  • Creating value-added product lines to their liquid milk production

  • Converting to pasture-based system (away from silage feeding)

Affineurs interested in:

  • Understanding the challenges facing cheesemakers

  • Gaining a full understanding of cheese before it arrives for ageing

  • Better identifying and understanding quality issues in affinage that stem from technical production issues

  • Working with cheesemakers to improve quality

The program

Length of course

  • Five days / approximately 40+ hours

  • Cheesemaking 101: Intensively hands-on supplemented with theory

  • Cheesemaking 201: Hands-on and theoretical learning building on basics developed in 101 course

  • Individual objectives can be established upon application to the program


  • Hands-on work in all aspects of farming and dairy production (101)

  • One-on-one work on individual objectives (101 & 201)

  • Course is taught in English, Spanish or French (Ivan is trilingual)

  • Visits to local cheesemakers and equipment suppliers can be organized upon request


  • Cheesemaking experience, or a combination of course work and experience are strongly recommended

  • Cheesemakers and Affineurs are welcomed


The cheesemaking courses are held at the Lycée Agricole Rochefort Montagne, located in the heart of the Auvergne, the central plateau of France. The Lycée is a French agricultural high school, with a professional teaching creamery and access to high-quality local milk. The facilities include formal classroom space.

Students in Cheesemaking courses with Ivan will be lodged in private rooms at the Logis Hotel Regina in the hot springs spa town of La Bourboule.

Students must arrive the day before the course begins. Ivan will meet the train at the Clermont-Ferrand train station (trains can be taken from Paris or Lyon).

At the end of the course on Friday, students will be taken back to the train station for their return home, or to continue on to Roanne and the Affinage course.

Upon enrollment in the course, the Academie will provide greater detail on all logistical arrangements.