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It’s the end of an era! After 48 years of dedicated service, our masterful Head Cheesemaker, Dale Baumgartner, has hung up his uniform. Dale started at Tillamook County Creamery Association in May 1969, and for nearly five decades he artfully led the team who crafted the Tillamook Cheese our fans have come to know and love. When Dale first started, Tillamook Cheese was still wrapped in cheese cloth and wax! He’s upheld the high-quality standards that make Tillamook exceptional, through packaging updates, innovative new equipment, revolutionary production changes and tremendous growth. His dedication and passion for cheesemaking has been vital to Tillamook’s success and our ability to consistently produce a delicious, natural cheese for our fans all over the country. We will miss him, but he is undoubtedly leaving behind a legacy that will only get better with age and will live on in the cheese-making team that Dale has passionately trained like a proud papa. Here are some fun facts about our favorite head cheesemaker!

Dale Baumgartner Circa 1974

• He made more than 2 billion pounds of cheese in Tillamook during his career.

• At Tillamook, May 20, Dale’s original hire date, was officially proclaimed Dale Baumgartner Day in 2014, to honor his 45th anniversary with TCCA.

• Dale had a secret stash of cheddar hidden in the Tillamook Creamery for decades. The oldest cheese he had was from 1981!

• Dale loves fishing, hunting and bike riding. The furthest he’s ridden his bicycle is 108 miles.

• Dale’s father and uncle were also cheesemakers. It’s safe to say that cheesemaking runs in the family!

Thank you Dale, for all your years of incredible work. We know it’s cheesy, but we truly could not have done it without you!

Want to learn more about how cheese is made? Watch our interview with Dale here!


Karin Johansson (Smith)

You probably don't remember me but we grow up together in Hebo, but congradulations on your retirement from the Cheese factory. After living in Oregon for close to 30 yrs. we have lived in Las Vegas for the last 8 yrs. And loving it, but will be up in July to visit my parents grave at trask river,so we have to come to Tillamook and see the new cheese factory looking forward to it..Good luck to you and your family. God Bless

May 31st, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Gary Alford

Thanks for your service to the 'Cheese World". God bless you and yours!

July 20th, 2018 at 5:43 pm


Tillamook Team

We're glad you're a fan of our cheese, Gary!

July 30th, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Tim Behrens

Dale is one of the best! I had the privilege to work with Dale from the Summers/Winters of 1988 to 1992. Dale was one of the hardest workers and a great inspiration to the team! He is a fine individual. I wish him the best upon retirement. I’m glad to consider him a friend.

August 9th, 2018 at 9:20 pm


Tillamook Team

Hi Tim,

Thank you for visiting our blog! We agree, Dale is the best and we're lucky to have had him here at Tillamook for so many years. Thank you for your kind words!

All the best,

Sierra, of the Tillamook team

August 15th, 2018 at 8:35 am
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