Ontario Premier, Hon. Kathleen Wynne
I'm pleased to announce that Monforte Dairy is the recipient of this year's Premier's Award. Congratulations.

Ruth Klahsen, Monforte Dairy
We were in business for 5 years and it was great. And then we ended up not having a lease after that and we asked the public whether they wanted us to keep making cheese and they said yes and they did that by a thousand people putting in 5-hundred dollars to buy futures in cheese.
We just put ‘the ask' out and the response was huge, it was amazing.
I think it's shown that there's room in the market for artisanal production, for sure.
I don't think we've even hit the tip of the iceberg of where the potential is for cheese-making in Ontario and in Canada and the potential for what we can do.
I just think it's a cool model. I hope lots of people copy it and use it because what's the best thing about it is the consumer feels like they're vested. They feel like they're part of the process. They feel like they're part of their food. And so for us that's been great. And I think that potential is huge right now.
I am so thrilled and so honoured. We want to take that award and we want to give it back. So what we intend to do with the money is to set up a cheese-making school here at Monforte and that'll start in February next spring. Because what we really need in the industry is education and depth and understanding of regulations so that we can do safe, wonderful products that are as good as Europe. And so a school becomes so important.

The school becomes the coolest thing that we can do and I'm so excited about the potential of that. And the potential for what that can do to Ontario as far as just making really, really good cheese and creating my own competition. The only thing that I need to do is make sure that none of those cheese-makers that we help train will be better than Monforte.

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